Ancillary Endorsement:  These are a few words added onto your mail piece that will instruct the USPS how to treat your mail if the address on your mail piece is no longer valid. The most common placement is 2 lines below the return address. The choice of which endorsement you use will decide how much you will be charged for the additional handling and what is done with the mail piece itself. The one we most often recommend is “Return Service Requested” which will return the piece with the reason for non-delivery and will also give you the new address if it is available. You will be charged the appropriate first class rate based on the characteristics of the piece. Other endorsements will incur a weighted fee which is more than twice the first class rate. Go here for an explanation of the 4 choices.

Aspect Ratio:  Width divided by height. This number must be between 1.3 and 2.5 for automation compatible letter size mail and postcards.

Automation:  If something is to be automated, it means it must be machinable and it must have a bar code applied. If it is machinable it will include several characteristics including having the proper aspect ratio. If a bar code can be applied (which will not smear) and be readable by the USPS automation equipment (don’t use any dark papers) then your mail piece should be okay. 

Carrier Route:  The actual route your postal carrier takes when delivering mail. They can be small, below 200, and large, around 600.  Some carriers have to work really hard and cover more than one route. Knowing your own carrier route can be helpful if you have anything to discuss with your local post office.

Consumer List: A mailing list with contact names (see occupant list below). When ordering this type of list you can tailor the list with several different criteria (income, home value, ages, etc.)

Inkjet Addressing:  Using a high speed commercial inkjet machine, we can apply addresses and other information at speeds over 20,000 per hour. Try labeling that fast!  Not all mailing pieces will move as quick but it can be done with some.

Letter Size:  A mail piece whose dimensions are between 3.5″ x 5″ and  6 1/8″ high x 11.5″ wide and no more than 1/4″ thick (or less). Outside any of these and you likely have a flat. Postage rates are higher for flats so ideally you will keep your mailers within the letter size dimensions.  FSM (folded self mailers) are limited to 10.5″ wide.

NCOA Processing:  Go here for a page all about this.

Occupant List:  A list of addresses only. There are no contact names with this type of list.  It can also be called a saturation list as it is most often used for complete coverage of a carrier route.

Permit (Indicia):  This will be the pre-printed postage box most often seen on direct mail pieces.  It includes the class of mail, the city where the permit is held and the permit #.  One version of a permit is called a Company Permit that leaves out the location and permit# and inserts the company name of the permit holder to be used instead.

Postcards:  These technically are single piece “letters” at or under 4.25″ tall and 6″ wide. They also need to be at least on 7pt. stock. Larger than this they may look like a postcard but are really a letter. This size only matters however when mailing at first class rates. At bulk mail rates they mail the same as larger letter size pieces. Minimum size any piece can be is 3.5″ x 5″.

Precanceled stamps:  These are stamps applied that do not get cancelled by the accepting post office or any other post office. The advantages are the look of a stamp but the cost of discounted postage. Also, using precanceled stamps can give the impression the mail piece was sent from the location of the return address since there is no postmark.

Tabbing (Tabs):  Otherwise known as those round sticky things that close a mail piece (also known as wafer seals).

Walk Sequence (also know as Walk Sequence Saturation):  This is a type of mailing based on carrier routes in a zip code. The absolute lowest possible rate of any mailing is a carrier route walk sequence saturation rate.