×

January 2013 Deadline for Mandatory Adoption of Intelligent Mail Barcode by USPS

Presort.com   December 28, 2012    

Tweet To complete its trifecta of major changes in January 2013, the United States Postal Service is rolling out the mandatory adoption of the Intelligent Mail Barcode for bulk mailers who want to receive the automation discount. The effective date is January 28, 2013 . The other big USPS changes taking place in January 2013 include the new tabbing regulations for letter-sized self-mailers and the postage rate increase . Are you up to speed with these changes? What’s all the fuss about the Intelligent Mail Barcode? If you’re a bulk mailer and you don’t know what the Intelligent Mail Barcode is, or you know what it is, but don’t have software that will generate an Intelligent Mail Barcode, fear not; the world is not coming to an end. There are two basic tiers of discounts within bulk mail: basic presort and automated presort. To receive the additional discount associated with automation , you’ll need to imprint Intelligent Mail Barcode on your bulk mail. You will still be able to send bulk mail without an Intelligent Mail Barcode after the January 28, 2013 deadline, but you’ll pay higher postage than people who use the Intelligent Mail Barcode because they will qualify for the automation discount as well. Besides postage savings of as much as 5 cents apiece, utilization of the Intelligent Mail Barcode has other benefits. The main, largely unmentioned, benefit of using the Intelligent Mail Barcode is quicker processing by the USPS which typically results in speedier delivery of your bulk mail. If you don’t print your own Intelligent Mail Barcode, the USPS will print one on your letter for you, and this extra step means that it takes longer to handle your mail.  How do I know which type of barcode I’m using? The older style of barcode is called the postnet barcode. If you purchased any sort of mailing software that’s more than three years old, odds are it generates the older-style postnet barcode. The easiest way to identify the two different barcodes is visually, so to assist you, we’ve included photos of both below. Here is the older postnet barcode that’s no longer approved by the USPS: Here is the newer Intelligent Mail Barcode: You’ll notice the difference in how the 2 barcodes align across the bottom. The older postnet barcode looks like it’s resting on a flat surface while the Intelligent Mail Barcode is more irregular. Why is the USPS mandating the adoption of the Intelligent Mail Barcode? The simplest explanation to this is that the Intelligent Mail Barcode, can hold much more data than the postnet barcode. The additional information contained in the Intelligent Mail Barcode allows for more sophisticated tracking through the mail stream, delivery confirmation of bulk mail pieces and other more sophisticated features. More details about the reasons for USPS adoption can be found here. What are other commonly overlooked USPS bulk mail requirements? Of greater concern to smaller bulk mailers is the USPS requirement to update all mailing addresses on your mailing list within 95 days of your mailing. This requirement applies to automated and non-automated mailings. Although this requirement has been on the books for several years, the USPS has really enforced the requirement more stringently over the course of the last year or so. If you don’t use a USPS approved method for updating your addresses, the USPS can fine you or refuse to send your mailing. Click here for

View the original here:
January 2013 Deadline for Mandatory Adoption of Intelligent Mail Barcode by USPS