2015 First-Class Mail Rates Announced – How to Reduce the Impact

Price Increases

On February 24 the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) announced the price adjustments for First-Class mail. The new rates will take effect on April 26, 2015. The following are a few key impacts on letter-size mail:

  • First-Class mail stamp, including the Forever stamp will remain at $0.49.
  • Single-piece additional ounce for letters will increase from $0.21 to $0.22.
  • Postcards will increase from $0.34 to $0.35.
  • Automated three-digit commingle/presort will increase by $0.01 per piece to $0.416.
  • Outbound single-piece First-Class mail International letters (first ounce) will increase from $1.15 to $1.20.

In addition to the new price adjustments, it was recently announced that two of the four 2015 mailing promotions have been approved. The promotions that were approved include the following:

  • Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion: May 1 – July, 31 2015 – Encourages mailers to use First-Class Mail as the primary channel for outgoing mailings to their customers through Business Reply Mail and Courtesy Reply Mail envelopes. For mailers taking advantage of this promotion, the USPS will provide a rebate on their outgoing mail costs.
  • Color Transpromo Promotion: June 1 – November 30, 2015 – Encourages mailers of bills and statements to integrate color into messages in an effort to create a higher response from customers. This promotion will provide an upfront postage discount to those who qualify.

You can learn more about the other two promotions still pending in my previous blog post, “2015 Postal Rates to Potentially Increase April 26.”

On the heels of these announcements, now is a great time for businesses to look for ways to optimize their mail programs. Two strategies well-worth exploring that can help cut mail costs include commingled mail and enhancing mail programs to take advantage of the 2015 mail promotions.

  • Commingled Mail – While the price of a First-Class mail stamp remains unchanged at $0.49, many businesses are paying less than this rate right now through commingled mail. A company that offers commingled mail services process millions of pieces of mail. It’s because of these mail volumes that the company is able to sort and commingle multiple weight mailings to achieve the deepest discounts in postage, unlike businesses or facilities with lesser mail volumes.
  • 2015 Mail Promotions – In addition to receiving a price break through commingled mail, you can receive additional price discounts through the 2015 Mail Promotions. If your current mail programs are not set-up to qualify for the above mentioned promotions, partner with a company that has the ability to help transform your programs. Be sure they also have the expertise in understanding the many postal regulations that are in place which must be met in order to qualify for the discounts and promotions.

To learn more about how you can optimize your mail programs, click here.

It’s expected the standard mail rates and updates about the two remaining mail promotions will be announced soon, so be sure to follow our blog to keep up with the latest news relating to the mail industry.

About the author

Postal Compliance Officer

Diane has 40 years of experience in the areas of print and mail including production, commingling and postal compliance. As postal compliance officer, Diane ensures postal compliance for Venture Solutions and works to achieve optimal postal benefits for Venture’s current and new clients. Prior to joining Venture Solutions in 2003, Diane was serving as the production manager with IC System, which was acquired by Venture in 2003.