Monthly Archives: May 2011

US Postal state abbreviations

The US Postal Service suggests that state abbreviations should be used when addressing mail.

The USPS has developed a suggested 2-letter abbreviation for each of the 50 states and for the other territories in the USPS coverage area.

Here are the abbreviations:

  • ALABAMA:  AL
  • ALASKA:  AK
  • AMERICAN SAMOA:  AS
  • ARIZONA:   AZ
  • ARKANSAS:   AR
  • CALIFORNIA:   CA
  • COLORADO:   CO
  • CONNECTICUT:   CT
  • DELAWARE:   DE
  • DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:   DC
  • FLORIDA:   FL
  • GEORGIA:   GA
  • GUAM:   GU
  • HAWAII:   HI
  • IDAHO:   ID
  • ILLINOIS:   IL
  • INDIANA:  IN
  • IOWA:   IA
  • KANSAS:   KS
  • KENTUCKY:   KY
  • LOUISIANA:   LA
  • MAINE:   ME
  • MARSHALL ISLANDS:   MH
  • MARYLAND:   MD
  • MASSACHUSETTS:   MA
  • MICHIGAN:   MI
  • MINNESOTA:   MN
  • MISSISSIPPI:   MS
  • MISSOURI:   MO
  • MONTANA:   MT
  • NEBRASKA:   NE
  • NEVADA:   NV
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE:   NH
  • NEW JERSEY:   NJ
  • NEW MEXICO:   NM
  • NEW YORK:   NY
  • NORTH CAROLINA:   NC
  • NORTH DAKOTA:   ND
  • NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS:   MP
  • OHIO:   OH
  • OKLAHOMA:   OK
  • OREGON:   OR
  • PALAU:   PW
  • PENNSYLVANIA:   PA
  • PUERTO RICO:   PR
  • RHODE ISLAND:   RI
  • SOUTH CAROLINA:   SC
  • SOUTH DAKOTA:   SD
  • TENNESSEE:   TN
  • TEXAS:   TX
  • UTAH:   UT
  • VERMONT:   VT
  • VIRGIN ISLANDS:  VI
  • VIRGINIA:  VA
  • WASHINGTON:  WA
  • WASHINGTON DC:   DC
  • WEST VIRGINIA:  WV
  • WISCONSIN:  WI
  • WYOMING:  WY

Tips for USPS addressing:

Most US mail is handled automatically, and the address on your mailing piece will most likely be scanned and ‘read’ electronically.
To ensure your mail is easy to scan, the USPS offers these suggestions when addressing your mailpiece:
  • use capital letters
  • don’t use any puctuation
  • allow two spaces between state and ZIP Code
Note: when you use our Postcard Magnets direct mail campaigns, we generally ensure your mailing list is formatted based on US Postal Service standards, to maximize delivery service.  For more information, please visit our site at magnetbyMail.com  .
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The Cost of Postcard Postage

Or

What Do You Get for 35 Cents?

[Update 05/31/2015]   The cost of US First Class postcard postage recently went up to $.35  .

There was, of course, the standard outrage about the “pain that we all feel”, how postcard writing has become unaffordable,  and my favorite, “I remember when you could mail a postcard for a penny.”

So, having been a fan of the postcard for quite some time, I thought it was a good opportunity for us to take a deep breath and look at the value of this wonderful little postage class.

For (just) 35 cents, we get:

[1]  delivery of our card from most any US address – to most any US address.
This could be down the street or 3000 miles across the country.

“Any US address,” by the way,  includes plenty of locations beyond the Fifty states which have been assigned a Zip Code.   The trip from New York (10010) to Guam (96910) , for example, is 7959 miles.

[2]  Delivery of most First Class mail is between 1- 5 working days.  And the typical item is delivered in 1- 3 days.  (OK, not sure if this includes Guam…)

Did We Mention Free Pick Up?

[3]  Pick-up of you postcard is pretty flexible.  You can drop it in your own mailbox, a blue collection box nearby, or bring it to one of over 36,000 post offices throughout the USA.  Who else offers free pickup?

[4] Does your postcard become undeliverable if you’re missing a character in the the address?  Probably not.  The post office accepts plenty of mail, with all sorts of hand writing, mis-spellings, missing Zip Codes, and even wrong addresses.

Let’s look a bit more at addresses:

[5]  When somebody changes addresses in the US, they can have their mail forwarded to any other US address (yes, for free) for up to one year.

So technically, the same postcard postage that gets the card mailed from NY to Guam, also gets the postcard forwarded to Miami, for instance.  That’s a 16,000 mile trip, by the way.

But wait, there’s more!

As if you haven’t already received a hundred times your postcard postage value, consider the Post Office’s free return service:

[6]  if your recipient just can’t be found, or their forwarding instructions are past their prime, is your postcard mail discarded? No.  First Class mail will be returned to you if a return address is provided, and often with an explanation for the return.  This benefit may seem bittersweet, yet there’s a lot of value in knowing if your card found its target.

So when we’re done whining about the rising US postage for postcards, think of how reasonable it really is for one of our favorite ways to communicate.

Oh, and if you remember postcard postage was a penny, you’re definitely revealing your age.  Postcard postage was 1 cent when the postcard rate was first established in 1898.  And it remained that way for over fifty years, until January 1952 when it was doubled.

Now that must have been an outrage.

—-

OK,  with all that said, I need to mention that our Postcard Magnets are not mailed using US First Class postcard postage.  Instead we mail most using rates based on bulk mail.  For more info about direct mail campaigns with magnet mailers, check us out at magnetbyMail.com  .  Or drop us a postcard!


Top 10 Reasons Why Postcards Make Great Mail

There are plenty of ways to send something through the mail.  There are envelopes, boxes, flats and yes, postcards.

So what’s so good about postcards?  They are:

  1. inexpensive to make
  2. Earth friendly  (no envelopes, boxes, packaging)
  3. easier to prepare because there’s no folding
  4. easy to design with simple formats
  5. sure way to show your message (no envelope to hide things)
  6. easier to prepare because there’s no stuffing
  7. cheapest way to mail First Class anywhere in the USA
  8. easier to prepare because there’s no licking
  9. converts into a billboard on a bulletin board or refrigerator
  10. fun; people like getting postcards
So how do you top that?  Check out our Postcard Magnets at magnetbyMail.com .  They combine the impact of a postcard, and the staying value of a magnet, in one neat mailer.

What is the Size of a Postcard?

Postcard Size, Please…

If  you’d like the USPS First Class Postcard Rate for your postcard, you’ll need to keep the size of your card within the size range specified by the US Postal Service.

Use this template (please click it to see full size) to be within USPS regulations:

postcard size usps

USPS Postcard Template: the Min and the Max(Click Image for Full Size View)

Cards that are larger will be charged at Letter Rate or Large Envelope Rate.

If you’re going to use our Magnet Mailers , note that our items require the 2 oz letter rate (not the postcard rate).  This is because only postcards that are considered Machinable and Automated can earn the USPS First Class postcard rate.  The good news is that we can achieve big postage discounts by mailing in bulk.

Check out our magnet mailers at magnetbyMail.com .


USPS Postcard Rates

[Updated 01/2013]  Here’s the basic, first class USPS postcard postage rate as of January 27, 2013:

$.33 ea

For this rate, your card needs to be:

  • at least Minimum size: 3-1/2″H x 5″W x  0.007″ thick
  • no bigger than Maximum size: 4-1/4″H x 6″W x  0.016″ thick
  • and mailed from any U.S. address  to any U.S. address — that’s any address with a Zip Code.

Larger cards are considered oversize and are charged at the Letter or Large Envelope Rate.

Source:  USPS

Organizations promoting themselves with our Magnet Mailers need to be aware that our items need to be mailed at the 1 oz letter rate (not the postcard rate), plus a $.20 surcharge.  Why?  Because our postcard magnets are not considered automated mail.  The good news is that we can achieve big postage discounts by mailing in bulk.

Check out our magnet mailers at magnetbyMail.com .


Postcard Postage from US to Canada

To mail a standard postcard from the US to Canada, as of January 27, 2013 the rate is:

US$1.10 ea

Yes, that’s the same as mailing a regular 1 oz. letter to Canada.

For this rate, your card needs to be mailed from any U.S. address  (that is, any address with a Zip Code) to any Canadian address.

Source:  USPS

Tip: Use the abbreviation for the Canadian Province you’re sending to:

  • AB : Alberta
  • BC :  British Columbia
  • MB :  Manitoba
  • NB :  New Brunswick
  • NL :  Newfoundland and Labrador
  • NS :  Nova Scotia
  • NT :  Northwest Territories
  • NU :  Nunavut
  • ON :  Ontario
  • PE :  Prince Edward Island
  • QC :  Quebec
  • SK :  Saskatchewan
  • YT :  Yukon

Organizations promoting themselves with our Magnet Mailers need to be aware that our items need to be mailed at the 2 oz letter rate (not the postcard rate).  Why?  Because our postcard magnets are considered Machinable / non-Automated.  We can achieve big postage discounts by mailing in bulk for US addresses, although not for Canadian addresses.

Check out our magnet mailers at magnetbyMail.com .


Postcard Size Dimensions

For 1st class Postcard rates, the USPS requires your card to be:

  • Minimum size: 3-1/2″H x 5″W x  0.007″ thick
  • Maximum size: 4-1/4″H x 6″W x  0.016″ thick

Larger cards are considered oversized and are charged at the Letter or Large Envelope Rate.

This rate allows the postcard to be mailed from any U.S. location, to any U.S. location — that is, locations with a Zip Code.

Source:  USPS

Please note that our Magnet Mailers  need to be mailed at the 2 oz letter rate and not the postcard rate.  This is because our postcard magnets are considered Machinable and Non-Automated.  Regardless, we can provide big postage discounts by mailing in bulk.

Check out how to promote your organization with our magnet mailers at magnetbyMail.com .