Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
June 14, 1996

Bulk mail rules change July 1

by Linda Charles
Big changes are coming for bulk mailers, beginning next month.

The most sweeping U.S. Postal Service changes in decades will take effect July 1 for regular bulk mail and, tentatively, Oct. 1 for nonprofit bulk mail, said Bill Schmitt, a postal automation team member at Printing Services. The university uses both classifications.

Under the new system, the more a piece can be processed by machine, the cheaper it will be to mail. But the automated rates call for "zero tolerance" for addresses that cannot be matched with the postal service's national registry of mailing addresses, Schmitt said. Those that do not match the registry will require more expensive rates.

Even the names of mail classifications will change, he said. "Third class" will become "standard," "second class" will be "periodicals" and "express mail" will be "expedited." "First class" keeps its name.

Help is available
Campus colleges and departments that qualify for bulk mail (200 or more pieces third class or 500 or more pieces first class) will need help if they want to get the lowest mail rate possible, Schmitt said.

Much of the discount that departments have received since the early 1980s came from using a non-automation presort rate. Despite the "non-automated" title, the rate required sorting and documentation on the part of the mailer. But under the new system, the U.S. Postal Service will require that special software, known as PAVE for short, be used to sort both automated and presort mail, as well as to verify zip codes and addresses. Printing Services has the PAVE software.

The postal service will offer a bigger discount for automated mail, which includes barcoding and other steps for machine handling, such as tabbing self-mail pieces. To receive the discount, campus barcoded mail must be certified by Printing Services. In addition, mail must meet strict design requirements (such as placement of the barcode and address).

Units that use mail lists generated through Administrative Data Processing will be able to have the addresses verified through the PAVE software at Printing Services. ADP also has software that helps assure its main lists (such as students, faculty and staff, or alumni addresses) match the postal service registry.

Those who have maintained their own address lists should contact Printing Services for information about bringing the lists in line with postal service requirements.

June seminars planned
Printing Services will hold at least two seminars in June to help campus units prepare for the changes. To register for a seminar, call 4-3601.

Seminars are scheduled for 9 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 18, and Thursday, June 20, at Printing Services. Additional seminars will be scheduled as needed.

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