USPS Language for Class of Mail Regarding Personal Information

Did you know that the postal service closely monitors Standard mail to make sure that mailers are not including just transactional content?  For example, a mailer could send out a change-in-terms notice mailing, including the last four digits of the recipients account number, via  Standard mail.  The post office could open a sample and see that it is purely transactional in nature and contains no promotional content.  They might, at that point,  surcharge the customer for the difference between Standard and First Class and process the mail as Standard, even with the surcharge.

Here is what the regulations say (source: DMM Handbook 443.2.2)

Personal information may not be included in a Standard Mail mailpiece unless all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The mailpiece contains explicit advertising for a product or service for sale or lease or an explicit solicitation for a donation.
  2. All of the personal information is directly related to the advertising or solicitation.
  3. The exclusive reason for inclusion of all of the personal information is to support the advertising or solicitation in the mailpiece.

We believe it is possible to combine transactional and promotional content in the same package and still mail Standard if the promotional content carries greater weight.  If in doubt, consult with your local postal facility.

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