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Mailing Guidelines and Information

Introduction to Bulk Mail

What are the 3 Main Steps to Submit a Bulk Mailing?
What is the Expected Turnaround Time for a Bulk Mailing?
How do I Create a Billing Account and Enter my UDDS Funding Account?
How Should my Address Files be Formatted?
Can I Mail Foreign Records?
How Much Extra Material should I Order?

NCOA / Permit 658

What is NCOA?
Can you Process my Address Lists in Advance so I know how much Material to Order?
Can you NCOA my Address List and Return it in Title Case?
What is the Difference Between Nonprofit Mail, Standard Mail, and First Class Mail?
What is Permit 658? (Indicia)

USPS Design Requirements

What are Some of the Major Requirements for a Bulk Mailing?
What are the regulations for LETTERS?
What are the regulations for FLATS?
What is the Deflection Test for Flats?
What is Tabbing?
How do I get the Lowest Automation Prices?
What is the Barcode Clear Zone?
What are the New Self-Mailer Regulations as of January 2013?
How Do I Design Oblong Mailpieces?
What are the Postcard Thickness Regulations?
Will Bulk Mail Review My Design to Ensure it Complies with USPS Regulations?

Pre-Addressed / Ancillary Endorsements

Can I Deliver Pre-Addressed and Pre-Sealed Envelopes for a Bulk Mailing?
What are Ancillary Endorsements (Address Service Requested)?

Business Reply Mail

How Do I Send Business Reply Mail?

General Information

What are the Hours at the Bulk Mail Center? Where are you Located? Is there Parking Available?
What are the Limitations of your Machine Inserters?
What Types of Folding Can Bulk Mail's Folding Machine Offer? Should I use a LETTER FOLD?
Can Bulk Mail Provide Envelopes?
Does Bulk Mail Provide Estimates?
Can I Use Sponsor Logos on Nonprofit Mail?
Can we do a Cooperative Mailing?
What is "Postcard" Rate?
What equipment do you use? May I schedule a tour of your operation?

TIP: Use CTRL+F to find what you're looking for more quickly.



What are the 3 Main Steps to Submit a Bulk Mailing?

1. Submit a Job Order (Click here for detailed instructions.)

After registration/login, Job Order forms can be filled out online via Order Services. Customers will be asked to provide a funding account, basic contact information, what services are requested, what the mailing is titled and when you would like it mailed. All services from the Bulk Mail Center require a job order to be submitted for tracking and billing purposes.*

2. Send Address Files

Address files can be uploaded via Order Services or emailed as attachments to postal.bulk@uwex.edu. You can have multiple files (Excel is the most common).

3. Deliver Material

Material must be delivered to Bulk Mail at 45 N. Charter St. Once we have all three items (Job Ticket, Address Files, and Material), we can begin working on your job. Average turnaround time is 3-5 business days.


* PLEASE NOTE:  Bulk Mailings require the material to be identical. If mailing multiple types or versions of material, a bulk mailing order must be submitted for each type or version.


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What is the Expected Turnaround Time for a Bulk Mailing?

3-5 business days is the average turnaround time from when Bulk Mail receives your job ticket, the address file(s), and the material.

If your material needs to be inserted into envelopes that we're not able to do with a machine inserter, the hand labor to insert them can extend the turnaround time out to 5-10 business days.


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What is NCOA?

NCOA stands for National Change Of Address. The U.S. Postal Service maintains a database of everyone who has filed an official change of address form with them over the last four years. NCOA is a service that allows you to update your address lists with the most accurate address information possible.

NCOA is the most common method of complying with the USPS Move Update requirement. After running an address list through NCOA, that list is valid for 95 days. Any address files that Bulk Mail processes will be run through NCOA.

Pieces that arrive pre-addressed cannot be run through NCOA. and will therefore require an Ancillary Endorsement such as ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED to comply with the Move Update requirement (These rates will also be higher since they cannot be presorted for full automation rates).


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Can you Process my Address Lists in Advance so I know how much Material to Order?

Yes, we regularly process address lists in advance for duplicates as well as moved and undeliverable addresses so that we can provide an exact mailing quantity to our customers. This will give you a basis for deciding how much material you would like to order. Often times UW departments order material based on their expected list quantities but when there are hundreds (or even thousands) of duplicates, this can significantly throw off your count, resulting in us returning many leftover pieces following the mailing.

If you would like us to process your lists in advance, simply submit a job order form, send us your lists, and then mention in the Special Instructions text box that you would like us to NCOA and return a list count. We can return a count to you (usually within 3 days or less depending on workload). We will then keep the same job ticket open as we await your printed material to be delivered, so you don’t need to submit separate orders for NCOA and for the actual mailing. Please keep in mind that NCOA is valid for 95 days before the USPS requires the list to be re-ran through NCOA to send as a bulk mailing.

NOTE: Please make sure to still order extras since we need additional pieces for machine calibration/setup plus the occasional machine jam that damages material (ordering the exact list quantity will result in a material shortage).


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Can you NCOA my Address List and Return it in Title Case?

Yes, but please specify your requests under the "Special Instructions" of the order form.

When we process an address file and run it through NCOA, our software always changes the characters to ALL CAPS, meaning any list will be returned ALL CAPS. If you request Title Case, we will revert the capitalized list back into Title Case, but in doing so, the software may misinterpret some instances (i.e., "DNR" may become "Dnr"). We try our best to look out for these errors and correct them before returning a list, but please be aware of this possibility when requesting Title Case.

Also, our software merges the entire name into a single cell (First Name + Middle Initial + Last Name), so even if your initial list had the name broken up into separate cells, the returned list will merge the entire name into a single cell. If you are planning a variable data document that will merge only the First Name into a cover letter (e.g., Dear Bob), please request we keep the First Name separate.


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What is the Difference Between Nonprofit Mail, Standard Mail, and First Class Mail?

Nonprofit mail is the most economical but only available to nonprofit eligible organizations (average letter/postcard is 16-17 cents; average Flat is 35-40 cents). Estimated delivery time is 2-9 days (same as Standard Mail). Any UW organization is nonprofit eligible so long as there is not personalized information or advertising. You can recognize other organizations and even include logos, but links to websites such as hotel travel accommodations might disqualify the mailing for nonprofit. Please call 262-9973 if you would like to see if your mailing will qualify for nonprofit rates.

Standard mail (3rd Class) is slightly more expensive than Nonprofit but has the same estimated delivery time of 2-9 business days (average letter/postcard cost is 28-30 cents; average Flat is 50 cents). If there is advertising, it must be sent as Presort Standard.

First Class mail must be used for anything personalized, however you can send any piece at first class to expedite the delivery time (1-3 business days). Bulk Mailings with a First Class Presorted permit can be eligible for First Class Presort discounts that average 43 cents per piece (500 piece minimum for First Class Presorted mailings as opposed to 200 piece minimum for a Nonprofit or Standard bulk mailing.

*** Presort software will determine actual postage rate categories for individual mailings. The average rates listed above are estimates only and may vary.


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Nonprofit Permit 658 Indicia

What is Permit 658? (Indicia)

Permit 658 is the nonprofit eligible permit owned by the University of Wisconsin. An indicia is a postal marking used rather than a stamp that includes the permit number. Most customers using our services have this permit pre-printed on their material so that the post office charges our permit account for postage, then we charge the customer back for the postage required. If the material does not have Permit 658 pre-printed, we can spray the permit while addressing. Permitted material cannot be placed in a dropbox and can only be submitted to a bulk mail entry unit with the required accompanying paperwork.

Any nonprofit mailing using Permit 658 must include "University of Wisconsin" somewhere in the return address since the University of Wisconsin is the nonprofit eligible organization that the post office looks for when they check the permit being used.

Presort Standard Permit 658 IndiciaPresorted First Class Permit 658 Indicia
The other two types of mailing indicias used with Permit 658 are Presort Standard (left) and First Class Presorted (right).


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What are Some of the Major Requirements for a Bulk Mailing?

200 piece minimum (Nonprofit or Standard mailing)

500 piece minimum (First Class Presorted mailing)

Material must be IDENTICAL (design, shape, weight, number of enclosures). Cannot have mixed material or will not qualify as a bulk mailing. Bulk mailings cannot include handwritten or personalized messages.


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What are the regulations for LETTERS?

Length: Minimum: 5 inches | Maximum: 10.5 inches*

Height: Minimum: 3.5 inches | Maximum: 6 inches

→ ASPECT RATIO (length divided by height) between 1.3 and 2.5.

Thickness: Minimum: 0.009 inch | Maximum: 1/4 inch

* Pieces mailed in Envelopes or Oversized Postcards can be as large as 6 1/8 inches in height and 11.5 inches in length (self-mailer/booklet maximums differ slightly: 6 inches x 10.5 inches). Pieces larger than letter size are considered Flats.

Click here to view postcard thickness regulations.


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What are the regulations for FLATS?

Length: Minimum: 6 inches | Maximum: 15 inches

Height: Minimum: 5 inches | Maximum: 12 inches

Thickness: Minimum: 0.009 inch | Maximum: 3/4 inch

* (The length of a flat-size mailpiece is the longest dimension. The height is the dimension perpendicular to the length)

Not rigid and not more than 1/4 inch variance in thickness.

Must pass the deflection test for flats.

Standard Mail Flats must weigh less than 16 ounces.

Flats must be addressed according to flat standards, meaning the address CANNOT be placed in the exact middle of the envelope. If the envelope is oriented horizontally, the address must be RIGHT of the center. If the envelope is oriented vertically, the address label must be ABOVE the center.

* When using 10" x 13" envelopes, the flat must be oriented horizontally to obtain Automation discounts on postage (due to 12 inch max height).


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What is the Deflection Test for Flats?

Although flats cannot be rigid, there is also a maximum amount of flexibility allowed that can be determined with a deflection test. There are two different tests based on the length of the flat (the length of a flat is its longest dimension).

Flat-Size Mailpieces 10 Inches or Longer

Extend the length 5 inches off the edge of a table and place a weight along the edge.

The piece is mailable if it does not droop more than 3 inches vertically at either end.

Flat-Size Mailpieces Less than 10 Inches

Extend half of the piece's length off the edge of a table and place a weight along the edge.

The piece is mailable if it does not droop more than 2 inches less than the extended length at either end.

Example: 9 inch length would extend 4.5 inches - 2 inches = 2.5 inches max allowed droop

Example: 8 inch length would extend 4 inches - 2 inches = 2 inches max allowed droop


Please see
DMM reference 201.4.6 "Maximum Deflection for Flat-Size Mailpieces" for more detailed information.


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What is Tabbing? (Self-Mailers and Stapled Booklets)

Translucent Tab
Tabs are the circular adhesive "stickers" that the USPS requires on self-mailers and stapled booklets to hold the edges shut throughout the mailing process. We will apply tabs as necessary to comply with postal regulations.

We use translucent paper tabs (as seen to the left; your design and text appears clearly through the tabs).



Self-mailers can be tabbed in a single pass while
addressing using an inline tabber.

(2) - 1 inch tabs for pieces up to 1 oz.
(3) - 1.5 inch tabs for pieces over 1 oz.
Self-Mailer Tabbing


Stapled booklets always require (3) 1.5 inch tabs (2 on the leading edge and 1 on the trailing edge). Saddle stitched booklets have staples in the spine along the bottom edge. Other booklets have staples in the LEAD edge (most newsletters) where the first fold is the stapled binding, then it's folded in half again so that the final fold is on the bottom of the address panel.

Please note that all stapled booklets require an initial pass through our triple tabbing machine prior to a second pass through the inkjet for addressing. Occasionally there is a bottleneck at the tabbing machine when a lot of stapled booklets arrive, which can delay mailings. Designing pieces as folded self-mailers instead of stapled booklets will save you money and ensure your mailings are not delayed due to tabbing because pieces are addressed and tabbed in a single pass.

Booklet Tabbing


Oblong mailpieces require special tabbing to meet postal regulations.

Flats do not require tabs.

Foreign pieces require different tabbing; Bulk Mail will tab as required for international mailing.

Perforated tabs are not allowed by the USPS.


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How do I get the Lowest Automation Prices?

Bulk Mail will process your file(s) and run the list through the National Change of Address database. After the file is cleansed of duplicates, old addresses, and bad addresses, the address list is presorted and the address labels are applied with a barcode. Almost all mail processed at Bulk Mail is done this way to achieve the lowest automation postage rates.

Pieces that arrived pre-addressed are not eligible for automation rates since a barcode cannot be applied and the pieces cannot be presorted.


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What is the Barcode Clear Zone?

We request 4 inches from the right edge of the address panel to allow for the barcode. We typically spray the barcode directly above the mailing address and require at least 1/2" inch clearance between the rightmost bar of the barcode and the right edge of the mailpiece. The USPS also requires at least 1/8" inch buffer zone between the address label and any other print on the mailpiece.

NOTE: Although we request 4" from the right edge, the absolute minimum spacing we need for barcoding is 3.5" (required clearances: 1/2" on RIGHT and 1/8" on LEFT).

Another option is using the Barcode Clear Zone, which is an area in the bottom-right of each address panel that should be left free of any text, images, or colored backgrounds that would interfere with barcode readability.

Barcode Clear Zone: 4 3/4" from right edge, 5/8" from bottom edge

Barcode Clear Zone, 4 1/4in x 6in

*If we cannot apply a barcode, the pieces are mailed at non-automation rates.


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How do I Create a Billing Account and Enter my UDDS Funding Account?

Once logged into your Bulk Mail User account, go to "Order Services" from the left menu, then select "Create New Bulk Mailing". At the bottom of the screen click "Create a new billing account". Any accounts already created can be viewed in the dropdown menu. To edit or deactivate existing funding accounts, go to "My Account Details"→"Change billing information".

Examples of ways your account may be written:

A16 9823-2 133 PRJ8452

(133) (PRJ8452) (A) (16) (9823) (2)

A169823 2 133 -or- 133 A169823-2 (No Account number - leave Account field blank)

133 = Fund | PRJ8452 = Account | A = Unit | 16 = Division | 9823 = Department | 2 = Activity

Please note that not all UDDS numbers include an Account (i.e., PRJ8452 or 1338452), so this might be blank. Divisions and departments are sometimes written as a single 6-digit number (i.e., 169823: Division = 16 | Department = 9823). Questions? Call Bulk Mail at 262-9973.

To search UW-Madison UDDS accounts, click here.


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What are the New Self-Mailer Regulations as of January 2013?

There are several important changes to requirements for self-mailers (self-mailers are folded pieces that are letter-sized, not mailed in envelopes, and do not have a binding). If it has staples in any fold, it is defined as a booklet, not a self-mailer, and booklets will still require three tabs. The main changes are below, but for a full list of new requirements, see: FSMReference.pdf

→ Minimum paper weight 70# Text (28# Bond) for mailpieces up to 1 oz (80# over 1 oz).
    If using glossy paper, we recommend 100# Gloss Text.

→ To view paper weight requirements for various stapled booklet designs, click here.


1. Self-Mailers require two tabs on the top edge (previously required only one tab). Tabs cannot be perforated.


2. The maximum self-mailer size is 6" x 10 1/2". (minimum size is 3.5"x5").


3. *The final folded panel should create the NON-ADDRESS SIDE of the mailpiece (for example, brochures have separate panels, where sheets of paper are folded and each folded section is a separate panel. That final flap that is folded over should be the NON-Address side). NOTE: A single page 8.5"x11" sheet (meeting paper weight requirements) that is bi-folded is ok to mail with two tabs on the top edge.

Second panel is address side


* In January 2013, the post office deemed all designs with the final panel as the address non-machinable, however, this regulation was adjusted in June 2013 when the USPS made an exception to allow this type of design. The exception requires 3 tabs (see sample image below).
3 Tab Alternative Like Booklets
A typical self-mailer allows us to apply two tabs on the top edge during addressing (only a single machine pass). However, to apply tabs on the lead edge and trail edge, we must first send every piece through a separate triple tabbing machine. The pieces are then moved to a second machine for inkjet addressing. This additional step delays the project and increases cost ($25 minimum tabbing machine setup + cost of additional tabs).

BMC still recommends designing paneled brochures with the address not on the final folded panel.


4. The final fold must be on the bottom edge (previously, self-mailers were allowed to have the fold on the top edge if the bottom was secured with two tabs).

Final fold must be on bottom


5. Quarter-Fold Self-Mailers: the first fold must be LEADING edge, and the final fold must be the BOTTOM edge.

Fold on leading edge



Other common styles of folded self-mailers:


Bi-Fold (Half-Fold) Self-Mailer
Bi-Fold Self-Mailer


Double Parallel Fold Self-Mailer
Double-Parallel Fold Self-Mailer


Double Gate Fold Self-Mailer
Double Gate Fold Self-Mailer


*Please feel free to contact us at 262-9973 or postal.bulk@uwex.edu for additional details or if you have questions about your design. If the piece is deemed non-machinable, it can be subject to postage rates of 54.6 cents a piece.


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How Do I Design Oblong Mailpieces?

Oblong mailpieces require at least two full panels.



Oblong mailpieces have vertical fold(s) that are perpendicular to the length of the letter, but the final fold must be on the leading edge (right side of the mailpiece). There must be at least two full-sized panels (maximum of 12 panels) to be considered a self-mailer.

To apply tabs on oblong mailpieces, we must first send every piece through a separate tabbing machine. The pieces are then moved to a second machine for inkjet addressing. This additional step delays the project and increases cost ($25 minimum tabbing machine setup + cost of additional tabs).



If an oblong mailpiece has a shorter flap, the flap must be at least 5 inches at its longest point when measured from the LEADING edge, and the short flap must end at least 1 inch from the TRAILING edge of the mailpiece (see below).
Oblong mailpiece with a shorter flap. An oblong mailpieces' final fold is on the leading edge of the address panel side.


    Tabbing oblong mailpieces:

Oblong mailpiece tabbing.


    Tabbing oblong mailpieces with a shorter flap:

Tabbing an oblong mailpiece with a shorter flap.


  Tabs must not be placed on the bottom edge of any mailpiece.


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What are the Postcard Thickness Regulations?

Small Postcard up to 4.25" x 6" = .007" thick (at least 65# cover stock, recommend 80#/100# cover)

  • ie, 3.5" x 5", 4" x 6", 4.25" x 6"

Oversized Postcard larger than 4.25" x 6" = .009" thick (80# cover min., recommend 100# cover)

  • ie, 5.5" x 8.5", 6" x 9", 6" x 11.5"


* If postcard is too thin, it will be subject to non-machinable postage rates of 54.6 cents per piece.


We use a micrometer to digitally measure postcard thickness
to ensure the material meets USPS mailing regulations.


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Can I Deliver Pre-Addressed and Pre-Sealed Envelopes for a Bulk Mailing?

Yes, however you will not receive automation rates due to the fact that Bulk Mail cannot presort and apply barcodes to the pieces. If delivering mail pre-addressed, ALL PIECES MUST BE IDENTICAL. The weight, size, thickness, and enclosures must not vary in any way or it cannot qualify for a bulk mailing.

Any pieces that are pre-addressed with sticky labels must have an ancillary endorsement sprayed (i.e., Address Service Requested), to comply with the USPS move-update requirement. Usually we run a list through NCOA to comply but an ancillary endorsement will suffice. If the list has been ran through NCOA within 95 days prior to generating the labels and the appropriate documentation is provided, then the ancillary endorsement is not necessary.

If pre-labeling FLATS with sticky labels, you must label them to flat standards or the post office will not accept the pieces. This means the labels CANNOT be placed in the exact middle of the envelope. If the envelope is oriented horizontally, the address label must be RIGHT of the center. If the envelope is oriented vertically, the address label must be ABOVE the center.

All pieces delivered pre-addressed are subject to a fee of $40 per thousand records (or $40 minimum fee). Having Bulk Mail process your file so that it can be presorted will alleviate this charge. Pre-addressed pieces must be sorted into mail trays and counted in order to generate the paperwork needed for the post office.


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What are Ancillary Endorsements (Address Service Requested)?

Any pieces that are pre-addressed with sticky labels must have an ancillary endorsement sprayed or stamped (i.e., Address Service Requested) to comply with the USPS move-update requirement. Usually we run a list through NCOA (National Change of Address database) to comply but an ancillary endorsement will suffice. If the list has been ran through NCOA within 95 days prior to generating the labels and the appropriate documentation is provided, then the ancillary endorsement is not necessary.

Undeliverable Standard Mail that doesn't have an endorsement is disposed of by the Postal Service. Mail that includes an ancillary endorsement will be handled appropriately but may include additional charges. To view the USPS Quick Service Guide for Ancillary Service Endorsements, click here. Additional information can be found on the RIBBS website here.


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Will Bulk Mail Review My Design to Ensure it Complies with USPS Regulations?

We have several certified mailpiece design consultants at our office and we encourage customers to share their designs with us prior to mailings to double check if there may be any design issues. This often can end up saving customers a lot of money since the post office could charge 54.6 cents per piece if they deem the piece non-machinable.

Send a PDF proof or bring us a sample piece to review, and if we're not absolutely sure, we call a Bulk Mail Entry Unit Requirements clerk from the Post Office. If we cannot describe the design in great enough detail to our rep at the Post Office, then we send a physical sample for them to review.


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What Types of Folding Can Bulk Mail's Folding Machine Offer? Should I use a LETTER FOLD?

The Bulk Mail Center now has a tabletop folding machine that can handle half-folds (bi-fold) and C-Folds (letter-style folding) using standard copy paper. The charge is $20 per thousand pieces ($20 minimum charge for orders less than 1,000 pieces). Currently we do not plan to fold variable data letters since we could not reproduce those unique pieces damaged during folding or spent during folding setup (we'd need to have additional stock of the same paper type and also a data file so the unique merge letter pieces could be re-printed and re-folded). We will also not be able to fold self-mailers. BMC's folding service is primarily beneficial for UW departments planning to print generic letters in their office and just need them folded and inserted into a mailing envelope.

When having your printer also tri-fold your letters, we strongly encourage requesting the printer use a LETTER-FOLD a.k.a. C-FOLD since those are the most compatible with our machine inserting equipment because the letter will have a closed edge. If pieces arrive with a Z-FOLD, there are two open edges and the pieces will jam on the machine when trying to insert into an envelope.

Letter Folds


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Can Bulk Mail Provide Envelopes?

Yes, we have blank white envelopes available for our customers to purchase and use with their mailings. We stock a large quantity of standard #10 envelopes, 6" x 9" envelopes, and 9" x 12" envelopes that could accommodate mailings as large as 10,000 pieces at any time.

If you have a piece that needs to be inserted, you can opt to use our blank envelopes; all of our envelopes are automation compatable with our machine inserters. We will simply spray on the required return address and the mailing permit in addition to the mailing address and barcode.

#10 Envelopes: $25 per thousand

6" x 9" Envelopes: $35 per thousand

9" x 12" Envelopes: $60 per thousand

Please note that our envelope prices are subject to price fluctuation as our vendor pricing may change. We do not have window envelopes available, however we know of several sources on campus that we could direct you towards to purchase envelopes.


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Does Bulk Mail Provide Estimates?

Absolutely. Call 262-9973 or email postal.bulk@uwex.edu and provide us with as much information about your mailing as possible. Tell us how many pieces, what type of pieces (letters, postcards, flats), what type of postage (nonprofit, standard, first class), if the piece needs to be inserted, how many enclosures there will be, if your material will already have the permit and/or return address applied, etc.


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What are the Hours at the Bulk Mail Center? Where are you Located? Is there Parking Available?

We are open Monday through Friday from 7:00 am - 4:30 pm.

Our office at 45 N. Charter St. is located a block north of Regent St. along the bike path on the corner (next to Fleet and Service building).

Bulk Mail Building Bulk Mail Map

Unfortunately, there is not much parking available. There is a lot behind our building but that is for Physical Plant trucks; there are two visitor parking spots but they may not always be available. There is on-street parking but spaces are typically very limited. If dropping off material, there is a no-parking zone along the road near our front door that the UPS or USPS trucks typically park to run inside, so this area can be used to quickly deliver material to the front office if no other valid parking spaces can be found.


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What are the Limitations of your Machine Inserters?

Our machine inserters work best with standard #10 envelopes or 6" x 9" envelopes. Specific designs of A6 and A7 envelopes may also be machine compatible. We also have a flat inserter that can handle some types of material provided the envelopes are oriented horizontally.

Our machine inserters work with commercial envelopes where the flap is rounded at the corners. Please consider enclosure length in relation to envelope length to allow preferred 1/2" clearance for machine inserting (i.e., #10 envelope = 9" length, enclosed letter = 8.5" length → allows 1/4" clearance on each side). Please note this clearance must be relative to the INNER width of the envelope (factoring in folds and thickness of materials), not the outer dimensions.

INNER width minimum 1/4 inch
Commercial Envelope Sample Bad Flaps

Our machine inserters are not compatible with pointed or square envelope flaps (see examples in red above). These flaps will need to be hand inserted, which increases turnaround time and expense. Please call 262-9973 with questions.

Note: C-Fold is the preferred letter fold style, see folding F.A.Q. for more information.


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How Much Extra Material should I Order?

It is always recommended to order extra material since pieces will sometimes be damaged during the inserting and/or addressing process. Some pieces are also spent during the initial setup process where we calibrate the inkjet heads so that the address and barcodes appear in the proper locations on the mailpieces. Ordering the exact amount of material will typically result in your mailing running short.

All leftover mailpieces will be sent back to you after the mailing is complete. You can also have us NCOA your list in advance so you can save money by knowing how much material to order. Click here for more information.


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How Should my Address Files be Formatted?

We are able to handle most formatting types and will rework them until they are ready to run through our software, however we have some preferences.

The address block allows 5 lines with a maximum of 50 characters per line. If you have too much addressing information we will have to cut some of it out to fit these character restrictions.

Here are the fields allowed:

 ID (May be retained during processing but usually omitted during addressing)
(LINE 1)NAME LINE: Can include entire name in single cell (50 character maximum), or split into separate columns that Bulk Mail will later merge:
 prefix (if using "Mr.", "Mrs." "Ms.", "Dr.", "Professor")
 name1 (First name)
 name2 (Middle name or middle initial)
 name3 (Last name)
 suffix (if using "Jr.", "Sr.", "III")
(LINE 2)TITLE: Person's job title, i.e., "Dr.", "Director", "Vice President", "Engineer"
(LINE 3)FIRM: Person's company/firm/organization; otherwise move Mail Stops or Building Numbers to this line
(LINE 4)ADDRESS: May merge Address 1 and Address 2 fields
 Address 1 (Primary mailing address, i.e., 325 W. Johnson Street)
 Address 2 (Additional address info, e.g. "Suite 33", "Bldg 4", "PO Box 234". If using a PO Box, our software will select the PO Box over the street address)
(LINE 5)CITY, STATE  ZIP: May be in a single column or separated

* Click here to view an example of address file formatting in Excel

Please note that this formatting applies to US/domestic addresses; We may organize campus and foreign differently. Please call 262-9973 for more information.


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How Do I Send Business Reply Mail?

You can use Extension Mail Service's Business Reply permit for business reply mail. They have templates that must be customized to include your Return Address and Funding Account in the upper left corner.

Business Reply Mail Envelope Sample

Reply mail is sent to Extension Mail Services at 432 N. Lake St and processed there, then forwarded to whatever return address is printed on the reply envelopes. As each returned piece is processed, 88.4 cents will be charged to the funding account on the outside of the business reply envelope, so you're only charged for pieces that are returned.

The pricing is as follows for business reply letters:
46 cents USPS First Class postage (1 oz. letter rate)
9.6 cents USPS per piece handling surcharge
30 cents Extension Mail Services surcharge (covers permit fees & handling)
= 85.6 cents per piece returned

The Extension Mail Center (432 N. Lake St.) sells business reply envelopes for $35 per box of 500 (business reply template pre-printed). UW departments that wish to use Permit No. 33 business reply envelopes for their in-house mailings can then apply their own sticky label return addresses in the upper left corner along with the funding account to charge each return piece to. When ordering a large quantity of business reply envelopes, the Bulk Mail Center (45 N. Charter St.) can spray the return address + UDDS account on your envelopes for an additional fee.

If you would like to do a Reply Mailing, please contact Extension Mail Services at 262-3881 for further instructions.


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Can I Mail Foreign Records?

Yes, foreign mailpieces can be delivered pre-addressed directly to the Extension Mail Center at 432 N. Lake St. and EMC will bill for international postage. Alternately, foreign records can be included with lists sent to the Bulk Mail Center and BMC will spray the foreign addresses and prepare the pieces for international mailing. If your address list includes foreign records that you wish to have mailed, make sure to click the box on the last page of the online order form.

Mail Foreign Records Checkbox

Foreign mailpieces that are prepared by Bulk Mail are processed and printed separately from domestic mail and have additional fees. After Bulk Mail has prepared the pieces for international mailing, they are sent to Extension Mail Services at 432 N. Lake St. for further mail processing. Foreign mailpieces are picked up by IDS (International Delivery Solutions), however the charges for international postage will come from EMC according to the following IDS pricing:

Canada: 50 cents/pc (< 3 oz.) + $4.24 per pound surcharge

Other international: 50 cents/pc (< 3 oz.) + $6.98 per pound surcharge


Please call EMC (262-3881) or BMC (262-9973) for additional information.


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Can we do a Cooperative Mailing?

Yes, however if using Nonprofit permit 658, all organizations must be recognized by the USPS as nonprofit organizations. If one of the organizations is not eligible, it can still be mailed on Permit 658 but it will be sent as Presort Standard instead. Call 262-9973 to check if your cooperative mailing is eligible for nonprofit rates.


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Can I Use Sponsor Logos on Nonprofit Mail?

Mail can still be sent at nonprofit postage rates when sponsor logos are clearly referenced as sponsors and do not appear as advertising. Typically words such as "Sponsored by" or "Thank you to our sponsor" are used and ONLY the sponsor name and logo appear.

Items considered advertising would include website links, business phone numbers, coupons, business addresses, or hours of business.

If the content is considered outside advertising, the piece cannot be mailed at the nonprofit postage rate and instead the presort standard postage rate is required. The delivery time will remain the same as nonprofit (2-9 business days), however the postage goes up from approximately 18.3 cents/pc (Nonprofit) to 30.1 cents/pc (Presort Standard).

Please feel free to contact us for further clarification of what is allowed to mail nonprofit when sponsor names and logos are used.


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What is "Postcard" Rate?

"Postcard" rate ONLY applies to First Class mailings where the piece does not exceed 4.25" x 6". There is no "postcard" rate for standard and nonprofit bulk mailings.

The confusing part about "POSTCARD" rate is the size of the card. Once you exceed the max postcard size of 4.25" x 6", the piece is considered a first class "LETTER" that mails at the first class letter rate of 49 cents each. For example, a 5.5" x 8.5" postcard exceeds the max "postcard" size; therefore it mails at the full First Class "letter" postage rate.

Small postcards (3.5" x 5" or 4" x 6" or 4.25" x 6") are eligible to mail at the First Class "Postcard" rate of 34 cents. If bulk mail prepares a First Class Presorted mailing of 4.25" x 6" postcards, the mailing is eligible for the postcard rate + additional discounts for applying barcodes (per piece price ranges from 26 cents - 34 cents).

Standard and nonprofit mail is different from First Class in that every size postcard mails at the same "letter" rate. For example, a 3.5" x 5" postcard (minimum size) mails at the same postage rate as a large 6" x 11.5" postcard (maximum postcard size). Standard and nonprofit mail doesn't differentiate postcards from envelopes from self-mailers from stapled booklets... anything "letter" size is considered a letter (NOTE: the max length of a self-mailer or booklet is only 10.5" whereas postcards and envelopes are allowed to be 11.5" in length).

Click here to view the Postcard Thickness Regulations.


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What equipment do you use? May I schedule a tour of your operation?

We use several different machines at the Bulk Mail Center to facilitate mail production. A few of our machines can be seen here. We can provide more information about our machines upon request.

You are welcome to tour our Bulk Mail facility at 45 N. Charter St. to see our operation. Simply give us a call at 262-9973 to arrange a date and time.


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NOTICE: All references to USPS prices are current as of May 31, 2015 - USPS Notice 123 Price List

 
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