First Class Versus Standard Mail


As you are putting together your direct mail marketing plan, you will have several options as far as how to design each piece of mail, where to direct your marketing materials to, how many pieces of mail to send out, and which class of mail you should use. If you have never worked with the United States Postal Service in detail, you might not know which options are available to you. It is very easy to simply stick a stamp on a birthday card and slip it in the mail box, but when you are presented with options such as first class mail and standard mail – how do you figure which choice is the best for your direct marketing campaign?

The differences between the types of mail are slim, but can make a world of difference when you apply them to the scale of a marketing project. Here are some pointers for deciding which is best for you:

First Class

First class or “Priority Mail” is sorted and sent out with higher priority. It is given a sort of “fast pass” to the front of the line on the postal service ride. If your mail is sent first class locally, it will arrive very quickly; within one or two days. If your mail is to be sent out on a national level, it will typically arrive within four days. Another perk of first class mail is that if your addressee has moved, it will be forwarded to them at no charge. Should the addressee be unavailable, it will be returned to you and marked “undeliverable”.

In addition to First Class Mail, the option of upgrading the First Class Presort. As a mailing agency, we take care of that part for you. Your mail will be pre-sorted, NCOA address updated, and CASS certified. Under First Class Presort, you are privy to a 20% discount if you are sending out 500 or more pieces of mail.

Standard Mail

Standard mail used to be known as 3rd Class Mail way back in the day. It is processed by the USPS depending on the availability of time. There is never a guaranteed delivery date or time, and it may take up to 4 weeks. Typically, your mail will never take this long to process, but it is hard to gauge exactly when it might arrive. The average arrival time is 3 to 6 business days. The benefit of Standard Mail is that it is less than half the price of First Class Mail. For an extremely low rate, you can send tons of mail to a large number of people. The con of Standard Mail is that it might not be delivered for a while, and if the addressee is unavailable, it simply gets recycled.

For more information on how to send out large amounts of mail, check out our website and feel free to give us a call.