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Overview


Large and specialized mailings should be planned thoroughly in advance to be the most effective and to take advantage of discounts offered by the U.S. Postal Service. These guidelines should help you to properly and efficiently prepare these mailings in a timely manner. To qualify, bulk mail must meet certain standards, which are summarized below. Failure to comply explicitly with the U.S. Postal Service rules can cause your mailing to be reclassified to a higher rate or even to be rejected altogether. UWF Postal Services can process your properly prepared bulk mail. Bulk mailings can  be prepared and addressed by the department or office, or it can be prepared by the department and addressed by UWF Postal Services free of charge. Bulk mailings submitted to UWF Postal Services will be processed immediately after all First-Class Mail and Campus Mail, but in rare cases may take up to three days to process and submit to the U.S. Postal Service for entry into the U.S. Mail stream. Some offices, departments and organizations, especially those with very large mailings in which automation and barcoding discounts can be taken, will use an off-­‐campus presort or mailing vendor to produce, prepare and submit their bulk mailings. If you need advice or guidance please call UWF Postal Services at 474-3211. UWF Postal Services establishes and maintains the University bulk mail Permit (Permit 183), budgets for and keeps sufficient funds in the advanced deposit permit account with the U.S. Postal Service, bills departments for bulk mailings as required, and is responsible for monitoring all University bulk mailings for nonprofit qualification and the adherence to mailing standards. UWF Postal Services must review all bulk mailings, including those submitted by vendors, prior to submission to the U.S. Postal Service. A sample must be provided to UWF Postal Services for filing with the Postage Statement for Postal Inspectors. Prior to submitting mail directly to the U.S. Post Office Bulk Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) in Pensacola through a vendor, departments must  coordinate with UWF Postal Services at 474-3211 or 474-2437 to insure adequate funds are available. For very large bulk mailings being deposited by vendors, departments should deposit a university or vendor check at the BMEU with the mailing for the exact amount of the postage charges and inform UWF Postal Services.

What is Bulk Mail?  What we commonly call “Bulk” mail is actually large volume Standard Mail (formerly called Third Class Mail or Standard Mail A) or Presorted First-Class Mail depending on the contents. Large volumes of Package Services Mail (formally called Fourth Class Mail or Standard Mail B, which includes Bound Printed Matter, Parcel Post, Library, and Media Mail) can also be mailed as discounted bulk-rate mail.


Standard Mail

Standard Mail consists of at least 200 pieces or 50 pounds of similar mail pieces weighing less than 16 ounces and with content that is not required to be mailed at the First Class Rate. It must contain general information aimed at all who receive it, rather than personal messages intended for specific individuals. Standard mail is a great way to reach a large number of people with your information at an economical rate. It is economical because the mailer (you) performs much of the U.S. Postal Service labor in presorting, addressing, posting, packaging and labeling of the mail.  It normally consists of flyers, postcards, brochures, newsletters, booklets, advertising, circulars, catalogs, lightweight merchandise, and printed matter. All Standard Mail using the University’s Permit 183 must have the University of West Florida’s name and return address prominently placed on the outside and the correct indicia placed in the upper right corner of the mail piece. The official University return address must be used: Department Name, University of West Florida, 11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, FL  32514-5750. No exceptions are allowed unless specifically approved in writing and on file at the Business Mail Entry Unit of the Pensacola Main Post Office and at UWF Postal Services. Standard Mail is open to postal inspection. There is no guarantee of delivery within a specific time period, but if prepared properly it can sometimes be delivered faster than unprepared First Class mail. You should plan on 7-14 days for delivery however. UWF Standard Mail can be mailed at either Nonprofit (manual or automated) or Regular rates depending on eligibility.

Nonprofit Eligibility

While the university is a nonprofit educational institution, not all mail is automatically considered “nonprofit” and eligible for the nonprofit discounts, which are substantial. Certain criteria must be met for nonprofit rates and for use of the nonprofit postage indicia on Standard Mail. Therefore, before printing or stamping the nonprofit permit imprint on a large mailing, insure it meets the criteria listed below, or if in doubt have it reviewed for compliance by UWF Postal Services:

  • The content must be substantially related to the primary purpose of the University
  • Advertising for travel, insurance and credit/debit cards, is not allowed
  • Advertising, in general, is not allowed unless it meets strict restrictions and is a non-promotional acknowledgement of donors, contributors or sponsor, or is a public service announcement, or meets the four content requirements for a periodical, or is substantially related to the purpose of the University
  • Cooperative mailings with for-profit organizations are not allowed
  • Cooperative mailings with other nonprofit organizations are not allowed unless they also are authorized to mail at nonprofit rates at the Pensacola Bulk Mail Entry Unit
  • Any payments indicated must specify payment to the University of West Florida
  • Nonprofit status cannot be lent or delegated to any person or organization

Mail that does not qualify as “Nonprofit” can be mailed at higher “Regular” Standard Mail rates. For more detailed information, visit: U.S. Postal Service Publication 417, Nonprofit Standard Mail Eligibility. This publication is also available at UWF Postal Services. Violations of eligibility rules can result in fines and possibly loss of the university’s nonprofit permit.

Permit 183 (Indicia)

The indicia or permit imprint must be printed or stamped in the postage area of Standard Mail to indicate payment of postage by the University. To save time and labor, use the format and designs below, or contact UWF Postal Services for the correct U.S. Postal Service mailing permit specifications so envelopes can be preprinted with the proper permit design and University permit number (Permit 183) prior to presentation for processing. Your printer or selected vendors can provide mail piece or envelope design advice and preprint the correct permit imprint on your mail. In some cases a pre-­‐cancelled stamp is authorized instead of the imprint – call UWF Postal Services, 474-2436, for more information. UWF Postal Services also has nonprofit and regular rubber stamps for your use in hand stamping an imprint on non-­‐preprinted mail pieces. Bulk mail used as handouts, flyers or put in general or campus distribution must have the pre-­‐printed or stamped postage indicia lined out with a black marker to prevent it being placed in the mail stream.

Sample permit imprints:

Sample permit imprints

Endorsements

Endorsements, such as Address Service Requested, Return Service Requested, or Forwarding Service Requested are authorized for use on Standard Mail, but if used may be costly for the mailer when undeliverable mail is forwarded, returned or a new address notice is sent. For this reason endorsements are not recommended. Unendorsed Standard mail will be disposed of by the U. S. Postal Service if it is undeliverable as addressed, will not be forwarded or returned, and no notification of new address will be provided.

Zip Code and Address Accuracy Requirements

UWF Postal Services can provide you support in meeting address verification and barcoding required by the US Postal Service for automation (barcode) discounts.  In order to take advantage of the postage discounts using Standard Mail or First-Class Presort Mail, Postal Service Move Update Regulations require that you must have verified the accuracy of the addresses you are using within the last 95 days prior to the mailing date. You can accomplish this using several methods including using Ancillary Service Endorsements and correcting the addresses when notified of a change. However, the simplest way to verify your address list is to provide it to UWF Postal Services, or the mail vendor you are using, when you submit your mailing and have your list certified and validated. You may submit your address list to UWF Postal Services as described in Chapter VII, Address List Updates for updating or “cleansing” using CASS and NCOA Link software. As of January 2013, if you want to take advantage of deeper automation discounts you must have 100% of your mail barcoded with an Intelligent Mail Barcode and have the addresses verified within the 95 days prior to the mailing date. On all automation Standard and Presorted First-­‐Class mailings, UWF Postal Services is required to indicate by signature, and under penalty of law, that ZIP code accuracy has been verified or that addresses have been CASS certified and verified by an approved method. Call 474-2437 or 474-3211 for more information on these requirements.

Preparation Requirements for Bulk (Standard) Mail

Preparing bulk mailings can be confusing for the uninitiated, but if these preparation guidelines are read thoroughly and followed exactly by the mailer or a vendor, the process is painless, and you save money and frustration!

Summary of Standard Bulk Mail Basics and Preparation Steps:

  1. A minimum of 200 pieces or 50 pounds (flats) is required
  2. The mail pieces must be of printed or duplicated material
  3. The mail pieces must be identical in size, weight, similar in content, and qualify as Standard Mail
  4. Always preprint or stamp a UWF return address with “University of West Florida” prominently located
  5. Use an authorized nonprofit or regular pre-­‐printed or hand-­‐stamped Permit 183 imprint in the postage area, or use pre-­‐cancelled stamps
  6. Verify ZIPs within the last 95 days using a method in F above for automation discounts.
  7. Use of standardized address format described in Chapter V, Section H, is recommended
  8. If you are submitting a “manual” bulk mailing (addressing and sorting it yourself):
    1. Presort letter mailing into 3 categories.  ZIP 325, 324 and the remainder.
    2. For flat mailing “Package” mail as instructed with rubber bands as shown in Section H below.  
    3. Place packages in containers in Zip code sequence. All flats must be packaged
  9. If you are submitting your mailing for UWF Postal Services to address, process and barcode:
    1. Provide mail pieces to Postal Services
    2. Submit address list in Excel format to Smartmailer@uwf.edu
  10. Submit to UWF Postal Services with Charge Memo, sample, and Address List (for automation mail) and/or as described in Step 5. Submit Mailing below.

Presorting and Packaging of Flat-sized Bulk Mail - Departmental Manual Preparation

Standard Mail addressed by the department must be prepared, presorted by ZIP Code and packaged for mailing by the submitting office, organization or department. Mail pieces must all be upright and facing in the same direction. Flaps should be sealed, if necessary can be sealed by UWF Postal Services’ mail processing equipment, but this will further delay the mailing since sealing is done after all other mail processing is completed. Flats must all be assembled in “packages” in ZIP Code order as instructed below. Packages from one to four inches thick need two rubber bands, the first around the length, and the second around the girth. Packages must contain at least 10 mail pieces (the “Rule of Ten”) in each category submitted, and must be assembled as indicated in the following steps:

 

STEP 1.  5-DIGIT PACKAGES

5-DIGIT PACKAGES

10 or more pieces for the same 5-­‐digit ZIP Code. Label with a red “D” label on the lower left corner of the top piece. Flats for the 325 and 324 zip code may be placed unpackaged in mail tubs.

STEP 2.  3-DIGIT PACKAGES

3-DIGIT PACKAGES

10 or more pieces for the same first 3-­‐digit ZIP Code. Label with a green “3” label on the lower left corner of the top piece.

STEP 3.  ADC PACKAGES

ADC PACKAGES

10 or more pieces for the same ADC. ADC’s are shown on the USPS Form L004 that can be obtained from UWF Postal Services website. Label with a pink “A” label on the lower left corner of the top piece. An ADC is an Area Distribution Center of the U. S. Postal Service. Mail pieces in this category are combined and sorted by 3-digit ZIP Code prefix groups as outlined in Form L004.

STEP 4.  MIXED ADC PACKAGES

MIXED ADC PACKAGES

Any remaining mail pieces are packaged as mixed ADC packages in ZIP Code order. Label with a tan “MXD” label on the lower left corner of the top piece.

 

STEP 5.  SUBMIT MAILING

Sort Packages in ZIP Code order, place in trays, mail tubs or boxes and submit to UWF Postal Services with Campus Mail or have vendors deliver. If using a vendor, they can submit your mailing directly to the U.S. Postal Service BMEU in Pensacola (Jordan Street location). Have vendors notify UWF Postal Services when mailings are submitted and provide the postage amount, a completed postage statement and sample mail piece.

Submitting Bulk Mail to UWF Postal Services

Once properly prepared, Standard and Presorted First Class mail should be submitted to UWF Postal Services through Campus Mail or dropped off at the Post Office window or dock in the University Commons, Building 22. For very large mailings, call 857-6208 in advance so that the Postal Clerks can have the appropriate equipment on hand when picking up your containers or trays. Also, call UWF Postal Services to determine if a check to pay for postage will be required for large mailings (in excess of $500.00).

The following three items must accompany the mailing:

  1. UWF Postal Charge Memo
  2. Address List - Excel file as email attachment sent to Smartmailer@uwf.edu  if being addressed by UWF Postal Services. Must have at least 200 “good” addresses for Standard and 500 for First-Class Mail.  Also insure enough mail pieces are provided with 25 extras for setup and misfeeds.
  3. Sample Mail piece for the Permit file 

Mailings that are improperly prepared will not be accepted and will be returned, with an explanation of requirements to make your bulk mailing mailable. This may delay your mailing further.

Therefore, it is imperative that you follow the instructions in this section closely. UWF Postal Services is ready to assist you with information, advice, guidance, clarification, and supplies and to answer your questions at:

  • 474-3211 (Assistant Manager)
  • 474-2437 (Manager)
  • 474-2436 (General Information)

UWF Postal Services will weigh, count, determine postage, print and certify addresses, prepare the electronic Postage Statement using the USPS PostalOne! system, tray or sack the mail, label trays and sacks, transport the mailing to the Bulk Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) of the Pensacola Main Post Office, and submit the mailing for verification by the BMEU and for entry into the U.S. Mail stream.

Submitting Bulk Mail to the Pensacola Bulk Mail Entry

UWF Postal Services will submit the bulk mailings or vendors may also directly deposit UWF bulk mail with the Bulk Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) at the Main Pensacola Post Office at 1700 W. Jordan Street. If a vendor prepares the department’s mail they must submit the mailing with the electronic Postage Statement and a check for deposit into the Advanced Deposit Bulk Mail Permit 183 account for the cost of postage (if the postage cost is $500.00 or more). The deposit must be for the exact cost of the postage. A copy of the electronic Postage Statement submitted with the mailing using Permit 183 must be provided to UWF Postal Services by the vendor to ensure that it qualifies for the postage rate claimed, the postage charges are accurate, and the Advanced Deposit account balance is maintained accurately.  Smaller mailings submitted directly to the BMEU do not require a deposit and postage  can be paid for with the Advanced Deposit Bulk Mail Permit Account. The following three items must be provided to UWF Postal Services prior to mailing:

  • UWF Postal Charge Memo (if not depositing funds to Advanced Deposit Account)
  • Postage amount to be charged to Permit 183 account
  • Sample mail piece

Bulk Mail Supplies

Supplies including rubber bands, colored labels, nonprofit and regular postage indicia rubber stamps and ink pads, tubs, 1- and 2-foot trays, sacks and forms are available by calling these numbers:

  • 474-3211 (Assistant Manager)
  • 474-2437 (Manager)
  • 474-2436 (General Information)

Departments are encouraged to notify UWF Postal Services in advance of requirements so that an adequate inventory of supplies will be available for all customers. Departments may also have their own bulk mail rubber stamps (nonprofit and regular) made for their own use if desired.

Bulk Mail Postage Charges

Payment of Postage to the U.S. Postal Service. Postage for bulk mailings using the University’s Permit 183 is paid at the time of mailing and submission to the U.S. Postal Service. Postage must be paid by cash, check or with money deposited in an advanced deposit account established with the Bulk Mail Entry Unit (BMEU). UWF Postal Services maintains and replenishes  an Advanced Deposit Account with the Bulk Mail Entry Unit at the Pensacola Main Post Office at 1700 W Jordan Street for payment of postage for bulk Standard and Presorted First-Class mailings submitted by UWF entities using Permit 183. UWF Postal Services and vendors maintain sufficient funds in the account for normal bulk mailings deposited. However, some very large mailings, those over $500.00, could deplete the funds, so a direct cash or check deposit by the department or vendor may be required to cover postage charges. If your mailing is very large, call the UWF Postal Services Assistant Manager (474-3211) or Manager (474-2437) to determine if a check is required or if sufficient funds are deposited to cover all current and incoming mailings for the University. The exact amount of the postage charges should be deposited based on the electronic Postage Statement at the time of submission, and the department or vendor depositing a check is required to notify UWF Postal Services of the amount of the check or cash deposit prior to submission of the mailing.

Monthly Billing. University mailers are charged back monthly for bulk mail postage paid through the advanced deposit account. The total bulk mail postage is calculated by UWF Postal Services using the Postage Statement copies on file for each mailing during the month. The total postage for each Banner Index is submitted to the Department of Financial Services and is charged back to the office, organization or department submitting the mailings. The charges are submitted to the Department of Financial Services at the beginning of each month for the previous month’s postage.

Presorted First-Class Mail

Presorted First-­‐Class Mail is handled in the same way that Standard Mail is prepared and submitted with two major differences: 

  1. To qualify for the discounted Presorted First-­‐Class rate, the mailer must have 500 or more mail pieces, or 50 pounds of flats.
  2. Addresses on all pieces must have been updated within the last 95 days before mailing through a USPS approved method, i.e. Address Change Service (ACS), National Change of Address (NCOA Link), or Ancillary Endorsements. For mailings submitted to UWF Postal Services for processing, NCOA Link service is provided free of charge to meet this requirement. An approved method also often used for updating address lists maintained by departments, is through the use of Ancillary Endorsements on their mailings and the updating of their list with the address changes from USPS notices or returned mail. If a vendor is used the same requirements apply. If using endorsements to mail at presorted First-­‐Class discounted rates the mailer must certify that the update has been accomplished by an approved method using the UWF Address List Certification Form. Call 474-2437 for information.
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