MU Print & Mail Services - Handling Guidelines
Introduction to Bulkmail Handling Guidelines
University of Missouri-Columbia Bulk Mail Center has prepared this handbook as a source of information to answer some of your mailing questions.
It includes the most basic and important rules. However, the contents cannot begin to provide you with all of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) rules and regulations. Please call Bulk Mail first, if you are contemplating as new or unusual mailing.
The USPS has made a major commitment to processing mail via "automation". This is the processing of the mail by Optical Character Readers (OCR) and Barcode Readers (see dictionary). The USPS offers postage discounts on mail that qualifies for automation. To qualify mail for automation discounts, strict address and design criteria must be met. Addresses must be in "standardized" formats, have zip+4 codes, and be barcoded and sorted to various levels. Mailing pieces meet standards of paper quality, specific sizes, and designs.
The University of Missouri has purchased computer software and MU Bulk Mail has purchased the equipment to process mail to meet these USPS automation requirements.
GENERAL PRESORT STANDARD AND NONPROFIT RULES
Presort Standard Rates: All mailers can mail at Presort Standard Rates. Material to be mailed may contain advertising and offer material for sales. A Presort Standard mailing can be cooperative; a joint mailing by two different mailers. Also, a personal name may be used in the return address.
Standard (formerly Standard A- Bulk Rate or Non-profit Mail) Presort Standard or Non-profit is determined by information printed in the mail piece.
Post Office requires we identify class of postage or send sample to them for verification of postage rate.
Before printing a mail piece we request that you contact us, by bringing by our office a proof of the mail piece or call / fax information to Bulk Mail Service.
Non-Profit Bulk Rates: Qualified nonprofit organizations meeting Post Office qualifications are eligible to mail at nonprofit rates with the exception of the following circumstances:
- Name of Sponsors, Donors, Contributors and any Company Logo may be acknowledged and qualify as Non-Profit, unless description of products, services, etc is given. This would not be allowed because it would be considered a form of advertising.
- Credit Cards: Nonprofit may not be used to mail material that advertises, promotes, or for a fee or consideration recommend, describe, or announce the availability of a credit card; except when provided by or through an arrangement with an organization that is authorized to mail nonprofit at the entry Columbia, Missouri Post Office.
- Insurance Policy: Nonprofit may not be used to mail material that advertises, promotes, or for a fee or consideration recommend, describe, or announce the availability of any insurance policy, unless the organization promoting the purchase of such policy is authorized to mail nonprofit at the Columbia, Missouri Post Office.
- Travel Arrangement: Nonprofit may not be used to mail material that advertises, promotes, or for a fee or consideration recommend, describe, or announce the availability of any travel arrangement, unless the organization promoting the purchase of such policy is authorized to mail nonprofit at the Columbia, Missouri Post Office.
- Cooperative: cooperative mailings may be made at the nonprofit rates only when each of the cooperative organizations is individually authorized to mail nonprofit at the Post Office where the mailing is deposited.
Filling Out Bulk Mail Work Authorization
- A. Job Title or description of mailing
- B. Fund Code (eleven digit account code).
C. Department information
- C-1. Department name
- C-2. Signature (Department Head)
- C-3. Account Name
- C-4. Contact Person
- C-5. Phone Number
- C-6. Surplus Address (address to send copy or surplus back to)
- C-7. Est. out of Printing Services (if it is printed by them)
- C-8. CSR (Customer Service Representatives name)
D. Mail Class (Circle how mailing is to be mailed)
Only if labels need to be printed or applied by Bulk Mail.
- NOTE: If pre-addressed ready to be mailed out, take to Campus Mail Service Facility in the Hitt Street Parking Garage. Campus Mail needs a barcode on one of the mailing pieces, so department can be charged.
Standard A Ð Non-Profit Bulk Rate:
a. Minimum of 200 pieces, single piece weight under 3.2873 oz.
b. Minimum of 50 Pounds if the single piece weighs over 3.2873 oz.
Standard A Ð Commercial Presort Standard Rate:
a. Minimum of 200 pieces, single piece weight under 3.3087 oz.
b. Minimum of 50 Pounds if the single piece weighs over 3.3087 oz.
- International Mail: a. Air Mail Ð takes seven (7) to ten (10) days. b. Foreign Surface Ð takes six (6) to Eight (8) weeks. c. International mail will be sent Air Mail, unless you specify surface. d. Foreign Mail (except postcards) has to be enclosed in an envelope. The country name has to be the only subject on the last line, in CAPITAL LETTERS. The US Postal Service does not like the addresses abbreviated.
- Campus Mail: Only is labels need to be printed or applied by Bulk Mail.
- UPS: United Parcel Service (usually Printing Services selects the area).
- Best Way: Cheapest Way.
- Periodicals: Formerly 2nd Class (Contact Bulk Mail for details).
- First Class:
- E. Are Labels Attached? (Circle One)
F. Labels Provided by? (Name & Phone Number)
Send to: Bulk Mail
Campus Mail Service FacilityHours: 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 12:00 Noon to 4:00 p.m.
Hitt Street Parking Garage
Inserting, Sorting, PostageINSERTING
- The following envelopes can be inserted on an Inserter or Aim machine: #9, #10, and #11. Other sizes check with Bulk Mail before processing.
- Indicate the order the pieces are to be inserted.
- Provide extra inserts and envelopes to avoid a second set-up charge to finish.
- Can insert up to 6 pieces at once into one envelope
- Only one Z Fold or accordion fold per mailing
- Must have 1/4" clearance space on both sides and top of envelope
- Single 1/3 sheet pieces need to be printed on minimum 60# paper
- Flyers and other types of inserts CANNOT HAVE PERMIT INDICIAS
- Labeled mailings should be in zip code order to avoid an additional charge
- If the mailing is out of order, Bulk Mail will charge a zip code order charge to manually put them into zip code order.
- Keep all material facing same direction.
- Number containers or label with zip code sequence on each container.
- Please DO NOT rubber band each zip code
- Permit Indicia for 1st and 3rd Class Mail -the contents and weight must be identical for all the pieces in the mailing
Metered Postage for 3rd Class Mail -
- For Nonidentical mailings less than 3.3 oz
- Over 3.3 oz Nonidentical mailings keep like weights together
- Maximum weight for 3rd Class Bulk is 15.999 oz.
Labels, Tabbing, Date Job Must Be Mailed
Several different types of labels are described below:
1. PEELOFF (AVERY or LAZER) -have to be hand applied
2. Customer labels
- Keep labels going in zip code order.
- Keep all material facing same direction.
- Number containers or label with zip code sequence on each container.
- Pieces that can be automated, will be automatically tabbed with the Tabber machine.
- Nonautomated pieces will only be tabbed upon request.
- No staples or scotch tape on self-mailers.
- If you want to apply the tabs, they can be purchased at Campus Mail, 310 Watson Place, 882-7801.
DATE JOB MUST BE MAILED
- Allow three working days from the time Bulk Mail receives the last of all the material until it reaches the Post Office or Campus Mail.
NOTE For large jobs (10,000+), call ahead and schedule your job with Bulk Mail.
- If no date is indicated, the job will be processed on a first come, first serve basis.
- If you want it mailed on a specific date, Bulk Mail will process it and hold it until that date arrives.
- MAIL SURPLUS TO -furnish complete address (Department, Building, and room number) for left over material or unmailable pieces to be returned. If no address is provided, the SURPLUS WILL BE RECYCLED.
Mail Piece Design
General Requirements for All Pieces
- Height and length dimensions are determined by how address & indicia read.
- The mailing panel is the area containing the mailing address, indicia, return address and postal endorsement.
- Indicia must be in upper right corner of the mailing panel.
- Indicia must identify whether your mailing is going Commercial Bulk or Non Profit Bulk (see pg 3).
- Endorsements (see pg 11 & 12) must be located directly under the return address with 1/4" clear space above and below the endorsement. Endorsements must be in 1/8" high letters.
- Return address must identify the permit holder.
For example NONPROFIT would be:
- University of Missouri -Columbia
- Bulk Mail Center
- 2800 Maguire Blvd.
- Columbia MO 65211
NOTE: You can have a person's name in the return address; however, the mailing is then COMMERCIAL BULK RATE, which costs more to mail.
For example COMMERCIAL BULK RATE would be:
- Ron Feilner
- University of Missouri -Columbia
- Bulk Mail Center
- 2800 Maguire Blvd.
- Columbia MO 65211
- If possible, leave the mailing panel unpainted and unvarnished so that the label will stay attached to the material.
- NO STAPLES (staples ruin machines and human hands when processing mail). The materials may be tabbed or saddle stitched.
- NO SCOTCH TAPE.
- Minimum size: 5" long x 3.5" high; a minimum thickness of .007" and a maximum thickness of .25"
- Maximum size: 11.5" long x 6.125" high; a minimum thickness of .007" and a maximum thickness of .25"
- With height to length ratio between 1 to 1.3 and 1 o 2.5
- Length: minimum 6" and maximum 15"
- Height: minimum 6" and maximum 12"
- Thickness: minimum .009" and maximum .75"
Addresses should be typewritten in dark ink on a light background using all capital letters. Except for the hyphen in the Zip+4 code, all punctuation should be omitted. All lines of the address should have a uniform left margin.
Address characters must not touch and should be equally spaced. All lines of the address should be parallel to the bottom of the envelope. Be sure to include all pertinent information such as the apartment or suite number, floor, and directional codes (N,S,E,W).
The entire address should be contained in an imaginary rectangle located 5/8" to 2-3/4" from the bottom of the mail piece with 1/2" margins on each side.
The barcode clear area is located 5/8" from the bottom and 4-1/2" from the right edge of the mail piece. It should be clear of all printing.
weight of a letter-size mail piece may not exceed 3.0 ounces.
Letter mail must be at least .009" in thickness if it exceeds 4-1/4" in height or 6" in length
weight of a flat-size mail piece may not exceed 11 oz for first class or 15.999 oz for third class. Automated flat pieces have to confirm to certain droop rules and meet bender specifications as designated by USPS.
Automated flat pieces must be labeled so that the bound or folded edge is to the right of the address.
click to enlarge
Printing Assistance, Billing Charges, Payroll Inserts
If any questions arise about mail piece design or mailability, feel free to contact Bulk Mail Center.
All the charges are charged to your account code, which then goes to Accounting Services at the end of the month. Each department financial person is given their FBMO for the previous month.
If your department uses Printing Services and Bulk Mail, then Printing Services delivers your mailing to Bulk Mail. Bulk Mail Center works off the same work authorization that was brought in to Printing Services for printing. To make the charges easier to understand, Bulk Mail uses the same job number as Printing Services. However, if you use a Quick Copy form for Printing Services, Bulk Mail needs a work authorization for your mailing. The difference in the charges is the subcode. Bulk Mail uses the subcode for postage, which is 3600. Printing Services uses the subcode 4700 for Publishing or 4800 for Reproduction cost.
Your charges appear on your FBMO as two charges as in this example:
|3600 BULK MAIL||12/06 067 B303999 C-3-20122-1520 CR 58.48|
|BULK MAIL POSTAGE||12/06 067 B303999 C-3-20122-1520 CR 51.42|
The BULK MAIL charge is for labor only.
The BULK MAIL POSTAGE is for postage only, unless you have your own permit.
Campus Mail charges are similar to ours except theirs say POSTAGE and have DATES instead of Bulk Mail and the last four digits of their account code is 1500. See example:
|3600 POSTAGE 12/04 12/04 12/04 067||C-3-20122-1500 CR 16.41|
If No Account Code
If your department does not have an account code with the University, Bulk Mail can still process your mailing. Bulk Mail processes your mailing and sends you a billing statement. You pay Bulk Mail by check or money order.
Payroll inserts must be approved by Amy Mckenzie. The insert must be at Bulk Mail the day before they are to be inserted. Bi-weekly checks normally run on Mondays and monthly checks run three working days before the end of the month.
Minimum of 60-pound paper shall be used and the pieces must be machine cut so they are all exactly the same size.
Job Pickup, Mailing List Assistance
Your job can be picked up by Bulk Mail Center by calling 884-2630.
We need to know the following information:
- Person calling and phone number
- Address of where the materials is to be picked up
- Number of boxes or trays being picked up
- Approximate number of pieces in total mailing
- 11 Digit account code to charge the pickup
A work authorization needs to accompany all pickups. Generally, we pick up after 9:30 a.m. and after 2:00 p.m.
Our hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 Noon 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Mailing List Assistance
Bulk Mail can maintain your mail list for you. Security of your list is always maintained.
There is an initial charge for setting up your list. Also, there is a charge for printing your labels on 1-up sticky labels each time. You can send your list to us on a diskette. It must be in the proper format, which is determined by the software application you are using (see next page for formatting information). We can also produce labels in DBASE or WordPerfect format. However, if we are unable to convert your file to our program, (with the department's permission to go this route) there is an initial charge for entering each address.
Any questions concerning the details contact Ron Feilner at 884-2630.
Address File Formats for Automated Mail Service
To input data into Bulk Mail Labels Printing Program, We suggest that the Address File Format will be ASCII format-
A flexible length field format using the format shown below.
|FIELD TITLE||FIELD TYPE||MIN. LENGTH|
All the fields in each record are separated by a comma(,), and records must be on one line followed by a carriage return(cr) & line feed(lf), For example:
JOHN DOE, CONSERV. OF MO., 728 W MAIN ST, JEFFERSON CITY, MO.,65109-1111
JOHN ROSE, DIV OF BUDGET/PLANNING,RM B9, JEFFERSON CITY, MO.,65101-1111
You do not need all the fields as described above. However, all the fields in each record are separated by a comma(,), and records must be on one line followed by a carriage return(cr) & line feed(lf).
Each field must not have comma(,) included.
Ordering Campus Labels
To order campus labels, send a work authorization outlining what labels you require. The following information must be included:
How many sets of labels?
Cheshire? or Sticky?
Fulltime or Parttime or Both?
Campus or Hospital or Both?
Below are the most common label choices. Other choices are available and are charged by how much time it takes to program them. Any questions call Ron Feilner at 884-2630. The list is updated once a month.
DDAC = DEAN, DIRECTOR, ASST/ASSOC DEAN & DIRECTOR, CHAIR AND ADMINISTRATORS
ASST/ASSOC DEANS & DIRECTORS
We are not able to furnish the lists to UM System, other campuses other than Columbia, or sell the list off campus.
This dictionary was provided by "Glossary of Postal Terms; Publication 32, April 1988"
Bar Code -A series of vertical bars and half bars representing the ZIP Code printed underneath the address on a mailpiece. The bar code facilitates automated processing by optical character reader equipment. Each digit from 0 to 9 is formed by combining two full bars with three half bars. A complete bar code contains two full bars framing the code, the five (or nine) ZIP Code digits, and a final correction digit which allows the machine to check its reading of the number.
Bar Code Read Area -The clear zone on the bottom right-hand part of an envelope which must be kept free of printing and symbols except the bar code itself to enable automatic processing machines to read the code.
Bar Code Sorter -A computer-controlled, high-speed machine that sorts letters, based upon an imprinted bar code. Consisting of a mail feed and transport unit, stacker module, and associated electronic equipment, it can sort into 96 separations.
Carrier Route Presort -Mail that the mailer has arranged by carrier route. It requires no primary or secondary distribution.
Dual Address -An address with both a street address and post office box number. Delivery will be made to the address on the line immediately above city, state, and Zip + 4 Code line.
Flat -A piece of mail which exceeds the dimensions for letter-size mail. For more information see page 10.
Forward -To send undeliverable-as-addressed mail to a second address. Customers file Form 3575, Change of Address Order, with the local post office when they move to have mail forwarded.
Identical Piece -An individual mailpiece identical in physical aspect, size, and weight to all other pieces in a mailing.
Indicia -Imprinted designations on mailpieces to denote payment of postage.
International -Surface mail or airmail originating in one country and destined for another.
Layout -Pieces of mail that are not in zip code order that are put into zip code order by manually laying them out.
Metered Mail -Any class of mail with postage printed by a USPS-approved meter. The privileges and conditions of stamped mail apply to metered mail.
Meter Postage -Postage printed by a mechanical imprinter on gummed tape or envelopes. Meter postage may be used on all classes of mail.
Meter Tape -The tape on which postage is imprinted.
Minimum Size Standards -The smallest dimensions allowable for all mailable matter. Except for keys and identification items. Otherwise it is nonmailable and will be returned to sender. For more information see page 10.
Optical Character Reader -An automatic mail sorting system that locates the address written on the face of an envelope and reads the city, state, and ZIP Code, prints a bar code, and sorts the mail.
Permit -Mail with printed indicia instead of a stamp, showing that the sender has paid postage.
Pound Rate -Pieces weighing between 3.3 ounces and 1 pound, have a different postage scale as explained in postage prices.
Presort -A form of mail preparation. The mailer groups pieces in a mailing by ZIP Code or other USPS-recommended separation in order to bypass certain postal operations. Presort is a USPS trademark.
Processing -To sort and sack mail following USPS rules and regulations so that it can be sent from a post office.
SCF Entry -Zip codes in the Mid-Missouri area (650-653 immediate area) in a mailing offers a better discount on postage. Sectional Center Facility.
Third-Class Mail -Usually circulars, printed matter, pamphlets, catalogs, newsletters, and merchandise weighing less than 16 ounces and meeting the minimum size standards. Third-class mail may be sent by single piece rate or bulk rate.
Zip+4 -the nine digit code, established in 1981, composed of
- the Initial Code, the first five digits identifying the post office or metropolitan area delivery station associated with the address; a hyphen, and
- the Expanded code, including the additional four digits. The first two additional digits designated the sector: a geographic portion of a zone, a portion of a rural route, several city blocks or a large building, part of a box section, or an official designation. The last two digits designate the segment, a specific block face, apartment house bank of boxes, a firm, a floor in a large building, or other specific location. Zip+4 is a USPS trademark.
- General Presort Standard & Nonprofit Rules
- Fill out a Work Authorization
- Inserting, Sorting, Postage
- Labels, Tabbing, Date Job Must Be Mailed
- Designing Letter and Reply Mail - USPS Publication 25
- Mail Piece Design
- Automation Design
- Printing Assistance, Billing Charges, Payroll Inserts
- Job Pickup, Mailing List Assistance
- Ordering Campus Labels