Are You Utilizing the Correct Class of Mail for Your Publication?

We have encountered multiple publications that are not utilizing the correct class of mail! Whether an association or a consumer publication, it can be very worthwhile to achieve “Periodical Class” mailing status.

Here’s why:

It sounds crazy, and it is, but bulk mail class(es) of delivery does not actually guarantee delivery! Just because you paid for the postage doesn’t mean the USPS is going to follow through.  If there is a bad address, the publication is not returned to the publisher to correct the future mailing. If there is a forwarding address — seasonal or permanent — the magazine is not forwarded to the recipient. There is no guarantee of delivery, and they often find their way into a recycling bin far from their intended destination.

However, Periodical Class mail conquers many of these obstacles, along with financial savings. The first rule to understand is that a publication has to be requested — by a “requestor” — in the form of membership dues (for an association), in the form of a subscription, or in the form of a signed request (by mail or website) saying, “Yes, I would like to receive this publication.” Then, once the publisher establishes “50%-plus-one requestor,” she/he is eligible to begin the process of applying for “Periodical Class” status from the USPS. The main requirement is that the publication must have a physical address where its circulation records are maintained and stored.

So, if your association, subscription-based magazine, or free circulation publication has a 10,000 mailed distribution, you must have at least 5,001 (50%-plus-one) paid or requestors. Then, you can apply for “Periodical Class Pending” to generate the better mail delivery and postal savings of Periodical Class.

Ask your printer if she/he can help. And, if they cannot advise and consult with you, you are not working with a publication printer. Finally, don’t be surprised if your local post office cannot help you, either. Candidly, the only way a local office is familiar with Periodical Class is if there is a magazine printing company in their region. Without this, most USPS officials never work with this class of mail. Go find yourself a publication printing expert.  We can help.

Article written by:

Dave Moore

President