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USPS rate increase blowing a hole through your marketing budget?

Written By Bobby Firestein

August 31, 2021

We found the silver lining.

When USPS postal rates rise—as they did this past Sunday, August 29, 2021—we all feel the pinch. But what if you could turn the postal increase from a negative to a positive for your direct mail budget? You’d be a marketing genius, right? If you’ve been sending oversized postcards, get ready because we’ve found the silver lining you’ve been looking for.

On August 29, USPS rates increased for the second time this year.

  • Retail rates rose from $.36 to $.40 per piece.
  • Auto presort rates rose from $.285-$.269 to $.326-$.306 per piece.

At the same time, the USPS increased the maximum size of first-class postcards from 4 ¼” x 6” to 6” x 9.”  So while postal rates have increased, you are able to send any sized postcard—up to 6” x 9”—for the same price. (For commercial mailings, the maximum size postcard remains 6 ⅛” x 11 ½”.) So, while you’re paying a bit more for each postcard, you’re actually paying less per square inch of marketing material.

Let’s break it down.

A 4 x 6 postcard is 25.5 square inches. Front and back, that’s 51 square inches of surface area. A 6 x 9 postcard, on the other hand, is 54 square inches. Front and back, that’s 108 square inches —118% more space! You will be paying 11% more (retail) and getting more than double the amount of space. That’s an incredible deal.

If you previously mailed 125,000 6 x 9 postcards, you paid $15,000 more for that oversized postcard than a standard size postcard. As of August 29, you will pay the same price for a 6 x 9 postcard as a standard size postcard, saving you $15,000.

Postal Savings on 6 x 9 Postcards as of August 29, 2021

And if you’ve been mailing standard size postcards to stay within your marketing budget, this change provides a huge opportunity for your content and design.

  • Add more product images or text.
  • Make images or headlines bigger to grab more attention.
  • Lead recipients to a mobile video, digital coupon, or augmented reality experience using a QR Code.
  • Add personalized maps showing the exact driving route from each recipient’s home or office to your store or venue.
  • Include a P.S. with a personalized note.

Of course, these are just a few examples. The creative options are limitless. What could you do with 57 square inches of additional space?

Let’s brainstorm some creative ways for you to take advantage of this USPS change for your next direct mail campaign.