Mailing, USPS, Postal Regulations

The Great Postage Rate Reset

postage rates


Postage rates are a big part of any direct mail campaign. With significant hikes coming in July 2024, it’s time to address how prices are going up – and what you can do about it to save money and still meet your marketing goals.

The Increases

Up through January 2024, USPS raised postage rates 5 times in 29 months and with increases higher than inflation. Some examples for that period:

  • First Class Mail Automation Letters – up 24.9%

  • First Class Automation Flats – up 56.2%

  • Marketing Mail Flats – up 34.7%

And now, the postage rate increase proposed to take effect on July 14, 2024: 7.8% on average, with the price of a First Class Forever stamp rising from 68 cents to 73 cents.

Why Postage Rates are Increasing

In 2020, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) was given additional pricing authority by the Postal Regulatory Commission following a period of stable and predictable increases that actually slightly exceeded inflation. The new postage rate system uses a price-setting formula based on several factors, such as mail volume, employee retirement liabilities, and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation figure. To achieve the financial stability required by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s Delivering for America plan, regular postage rate increases are regarded as a necessity. 

It also should be pointed out that the bi-annual price changes since August 2021 are happening at the same time that USPS is dealing with delivery issues as well as struggling to implement other components of the 10-year plan.

With USPS postage rate increases locked in for the foreseeable future, it makes sense now, more than ever, to find new solutions that work better for your marketing needs – and wants.

The time is right to reset your direct mail marketing strategy, to rethink how your mail can have the same or better impact at lower cost. From your data up through delivery to mailboxes, we will work with you on meeting both of these challenges because we care about your success. And we have the right combination of experience, vision, and trust to help you accomplish your goals quickly while delivering great ROI on your direct mail campaigns.

Five Top Ways to Control Costs 

There are opportunities for cost reductions and efficiencies that can be achieved and lead to savings on postage rates. Here are several areas where you can begin to rethink your direct mail.

Restart with Top Quality Data

Data is the lifeblood of your marketing efforts. It drives sales and helps you develop insights on your customers while strengthening their trust and loyalty.

But good data is an investment. A lot of companies that use mail in their marketing mix are drowning in data that they’ve been collecting. They’d love to activate it, but they’re uncertain if it’s all accurate. It may be scattered, siloed, or out of reach.

Besides internal organizational methods, you need a partner who focuses on data quality, meshes seamlessly with your workflow, ensures you can get the most out of your best data, and quickly gets your mail to market.

Your list data should be run through a series of vital checks to ensure that it’s accurate and current before mailing. These procedures include CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System), NCOA (National Change of Address), Dedupe, and Presort.

Refocus on Customers & Prospects

Direct mail segmentation is a crucial step in creating campaigns that reach different people who have different expectations of your brand, and different requirements of how their preferences, needs, and wants can be met. With insights about your customer’s or prospect’s segment, you can use copy and images on your mail piece that are more relevant, and therefore, more likely to get their attention than a static piece.

A key factor to success with segmentation and personalization is expertise in identifying opportunities for reaching customers and then, printing and mailing high-quality direct mail pieces. 

The right partner can help you develop testing and modeling strategies that analyze and target high-value segments. Using hundreds of data points, you can create the perfect mailing list that targets segments of your desired audience by Demographic, Geographic, Behavioral, and Psychographic factors.

Redesign Mail Pieces

To make sure that your message creates an impact, you need to choose the right direct mail formats. But which direct mail format works best for your campaigns today?

You have many affordable options for design, printing, processing, and postage but also a wide range of costs associated with re-working the size of your current direct mail pieces, or switching to a smaller format. 

Format changes and flexibility can help to reduce costs. But another idea to consider is your messaging. Look for ways to display it and your call-to-action differently on your mail pieces that results in less use of paper – but is still effective.

Reorient Mail Production

At a basic level, automation improves on the usual manual process to send direct mail campaigns. You simply make any changes to an existing template or upload a new mailer to a completely automated CRM system, just as you would with an email marketing campaign.

However, at a more advanced level, automation operates across channels by sending direct mail based on event- or behavior-based triggers. Data flows from point-of-capture (e.g., website visits, abandoned carts) into your CRM for printing and entry into the USPS mailstream.

Reoptimize Mailing & Tracking

If your mailing pieces are compatible with USPS’s processing equipment, they qualify for discount pricing. But, they must meet several criteria, such as:

  • Minimum quantities (500 mailings for First Class, 200 for Marketing Mail)

  • CASS certification in the last 180 days

  • An Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) with the correct delivery point routing code printed on each piece

Full-Service Mailers using USPS Seamless Acceptance can offer significant postage discounts because they use electronic documentation and Intelligent Mail barcodes (IMb) to automate and streamline mail entry verification. Another important tip: utilizing a drop shipping service. Your mail campaign can be sent in bulk to the nearest USPS office, saving you even more money and time. Enrollment in Informed Visibility provides numerous benefits for tracking your mail and saving on postage, such as notification of delivery dates and better workflow planning.


At, we value our partnerships with our clients and we are committed to working with you to strengthen those relationships and your bottom line. Addressing the upcoming postage rate hike – and minimizing its impact – is our immediate concern.

But that’s not good enough. We want to help future-proof your mail from additional postage rate increases, and the suggestions that we offered above are only a starting point for what’s possible.

With nearly six decades of service, we are eager to bring our expertise and ideas to your direct mail campaigns. Our award-winning customer service is only part of our investment in your success.

For more specific guidance for your campaign needs, please reach out to our advisors. We would love to start a conversation, and work with you to create successful, exceptional brand experiences on time and on budget.

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