Permits for Mailing with CRST
Mailing permits are a permission to use a certain postage payment method for commercial mailings in direct mail. When working with Cornerstone Services Inc., your mail piece will have to contain one of our mailing permits in order to qualify for discounted postage rates. There are a few types of mailing permits most commonly used, such as: non-profit, bulk standard and first class mail.
If your mail piece contains a return address then you can use the permit with just a ZIP code on it (12550). If your mail piece DOES NOT contain a return address, you must use the #473 version. The difference stems from the Post Office’s ability to direct any mail piece that has to be returned to the sender. If your mail piece does not have the return address the returned pieces come back to the permit holder. In that case the Permit holder #473 mentioned above.
The permit tends to be placed on the top right (.25″ margin from top and right of edge) of the mail piece. You can also place them within the address block as long as there is sufficient spacing and the permit is still clearly visible.
You may change the color of the permit(s), but DO NOT change the text within them.
First Class Mailing Permits
To use First Class Mail Auto permits you MUST HAVE 500 or more Automation records (explained below). First Class Mail pieces are delivered quicker with a higher priority than Bulk Standard or Non Profit Bulk Mail.
Bulk Standard Mailing Permits
Bulk Standard mail consists of regular direct mail pieces that go at standard automation rates. You must have at least 200 automation machineable records.
Non Profit Bulk Mailing Permits
Faux Meter Mark Mailing Permits
An alternative to the standard mailing permit is a faux meter mark. A faux meter mark, is to replicate the impression made by a postage meter machine that indicates that postage has been paid. Meter marks are widely used by businesses and organizations as they are more efficient than using postage stamps. Faux meter marks should have a width of 2.25 inches with scaling height.
What are Automation rate mail pieces?
Automation rate mail pieces are pieces that have been CASS certified within 180 days of the mailing being presented to the Post Office. This means the records have been cleaned up through a mailing software such as Quadient Bulk Mailer. The software will compare the address information in your data file and automatically verify the records to the correct information for that mailing address. If it can’t verify the address information, Cornerstone Services Inc. will manually fix the errors. Based on the number of verified addresses (records with automation barcodes and ZIP+4 verification) you will received postage discounts and are able to use the specified mailing permits.
In order to meet the requirements of automation postage discounts, you will need to use one of our mailing permits. Each permit requires a different amount of automation records:
First Class Mail – 500 or more automation records
Anything under 500 automation records when using the First Class Mail permit will be considered Single Piece.
Bulk Standard or Non Profit Mail – 200 or more automation records
Machineable vs. Non-Machineable mail pieces
A few conditions determine if a piece of mail is machinable:
- Aspect Ratio – length divided by height is equal to less than 1.3 or more than 2.5.
- Uniform thickness – There is less than quarter inch difference in overall thickness, excluding the outside 1 inch border.
- Flexibility – bends at least 1” and does not contain a rigid insert
Non-Machineable mail piece examples are:
- Square envelopes (fails aspect ratio)
- Cards or envelopes with clasps, buttons or closure devices (fails uniform thickness)
- Contains items like pens, pencils, loose keys or coins (fails uniform thickness and flexibility)
- Made of a rigid material (fails flexibility)
If your piece is non-machinable, it will mail at the non-automated, non-machinable rates.
Are non-machineable and non-automation mail pieces the same thing?
No. A piece of mail can be machinable (as described above), but not have a readable barcode. In that case, your piece would qualify for non-automated, machinable rates. On the other hand, there is no such thing as an automated, non-machinable piece of mail, because a mail piece HAS to be machinable to work with USPS automation machinery.