Mailing with CEC - part 4: Automation

This week we continue our series on mailing with CEC. In part 1, we explained the basic data verification and clean up services offered by CEC. Next, we covered advanced verification with NCOA processing. Then came presorting. Now it is time to discuss Automation.

Automation Mailings
Much like the presorting process, automation mailing does just what it says; it automates the mailing process. In the most basic terms, an automation mailing is one that has been presorted and then barcoded before getting to the post office. The two main benefits of automation mailing are lower cost and faster, more efficient delivery.

Once your mailing list has been NCOA processed and presorted, a barcode can be generated for each entry. This barcode is derived from the zip+4 code and delivery point code. Typically, if a list qualifies for presorting, it can be automated as well.

Automation Discounts
Based on the business mail postage calculator offered on the USPS website, here are some examples of the possible savings for an automated mailing versus presorted standard and first class unsorted mailings:

    500 pieces, assuming all 500 qualify for the discount listed.

  • First Class unsorted: $207.00
  • Standard Presorted (5-digit): $128.00 (saves $79)
  • Automated: $116.50 (saves $90.50)
  • Full Service Intelligent Mail: $116.00 (saves $91)

* These numbers are for demonstration only. It is highly unlikely that all pieces in your mailing list will qualify for the highest level discounts. Within presort there are multiple levels of discounts. It is also common for a few pieces to mail at the unsorted first class rate.

Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB)
In the example above, the deepest discount available is the Full Service Intelligent Mail option. Starting in May 2011, the USPS will require all automated mailings to have the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB). Previously, there were multiple options for mailers when it came to barcoding. The IMB was created to make the automation process more efficient by combining the best aspects of the existing barcoding methods into a single standard. IMB isn’t required until later this year, but if you’d like to use it for your next mailing, CEC can offer the service right now!

This concludes our series on mailing with CEC. But check back regularly for future updates on our other services (and more on mailing, too!).
Please contact us with any questions you may have regarding our mailing, bindery or digital printing services.

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