Bulk mail

The U.S. Postal Service classifies bulk mail as Standard Mail and offers it at either the regular or the much lower nonprofit rate. Both are less than First-Class rates. To qualify for bulk rates, the mail piece and the mailing as a whole must meet Postal Service specifications. We provide permit numbers, services, and advice to help you comply.

bulk mail

The choices you make in planning and producing your mail piece will affect your mailing costs. Please contact us when you begin planning—we can recommend sizes, shapes, and weights that will help your mailing qualify for a discount. If the mail pieces have already been printed, we can tell you if the mailing qualifies for a discount.

Volume of mailing

There must be a minimum of 200 pieces or 50 pounds to qualify for a bulk mailing. Every mail piece must be identical.

Address lists

Our customers provide us with address files that they obtain from Human Resources, the Alumni Association, the UI Foundation, University Benefits, or ITS. Some customers maintain their own address data files. We spray the addresses in these files onto the mail pieces using a VideoJet system. If you have your own mailing list, you must update the addresses regularly.

As of November 2008, mailing data that has not been cleansed through NCOA will have to have an address endorsement added to the mail piece. Your department will be responsible for all USPS return mail due to obsolete addresses.


Permit 45 Mailing Services maintains this permit for sending regular and nonprofit bulk mail through the U.S. Postal Service. The permit may be used by any University department, provided the mailing meets the necessary requirements.

Permit 844 is available to use on reply mail. There are surcharges for nonstandard mail, so don’t hesitate to check with the USPS about your mailing.

UI Mailing Services
178 Mossman Business Services Bldg
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1602
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