Five Ways to Offset the USPS Marketing Mail Postage Rate Increase

USPS Postage Rate Increases

Effective January 21, 2024, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has increased shipping prices, including USPS marketing mail postage rates.

Considering the rising operational costs, high inflation rates, and the fact that the postal service generally does not receive tax dollars for operating expenses, another USPS marketing mail (standard mail) postage rate increase was inevitable to continue to maintain the quality and efficiency of their services. Price adjustments like these support the USPS’s ongoing operations, including the implementation of the Delivery for America 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence for the U.S. Postal Service.

This year’s USPS rate increases are lower than the Bureau of Labor Statistics annual inflation rate, and still the lowest marketing mail postage rates in the United States. The grid below highlights some of the rate increases impacting direct mailers this year.

January 2024 USPS Marketing Mail (Standard Mail) 
Postage Rate Changes


Jan. 2024 Rates

Current Rates

Percent Changed

LETTERS Automation










Mixed AADC































The postage rate is not a fixed amount and is determined by size and weight of the mail piece, as well as volume. To view prices for first-class mail, priority mail, and international mailings along with extra services and fees, visit

5 Ways to Offset the 2024 USPS Marketing Mail Postage Rate Increase

Postage charges are a substantial line item in the budget. To help you save on your next campaign, SeQuel’s Director of Print Production, Paula Phipps, suggests five ways mailers can offset this year’s increase:

  1. Look Past First-Class: Although the in-home window may be longer than First-Class Mail, Marketing Mail is more affordable mail class in certain situations. The most common direct mail campaigns, such as flyers, circulars, newsletters, bulletins, catalogs, and even small parcels, can be classified as marketing mail. Those who leverage bulk mailings (minimum quantity 200 pieces, or 50 pounds) can benefit from the Marketing Mail rate. Talk with a SeQuel strategist to determine if making the switch is right for you.
  2. Take Advantage of Presort Software: The USPS incentivizes mailers who consolidate mailings within the same zip code or postal sorting zone. Therefore, it is in your best interest to partner with a vendor who uses a presort service. This will increase your mailing accuracy and ensure your mail piece follows postal service regulations. A presort service comingles your mail with other clients’ mail by sorting based on where it needs to go in the country, reducing your postage rates.
  3. Design for Automation: Machinable mail is built for automated processing and sorting by mail handling machines. Design your mail pieces for efficient processing to avoid the significant cost increases of non-machinable mail. Securing presort automation rates can cut postal costs even more. Work with your vendor to ensure your mail piece format meets USPS automation requirements and print a delivery point barcode on each mail piece. It’s also important to use an address list that has been validated against USPS databases. Then, qualify your piece with the post office before final production.
  4. Test a New Format: Depending on the type of presort that you execute, postage for a large envelope (flat-size mail piece) could be more than double the cost of a business envelope (letter-sized) piece. Converting mail pieces from flat mail to letter-size mail is one of the easiest ways to cut costs in half and mitigate the rate increase. Take into consideration your quantity when mailing flats.
  5. Look for Entry Point Discounts: Consider transporting your mail to a Network Distribution Center or Sectional Center Facility to enter the carrier route closer to the delivery destination and utilize commingling. This mailing process could speed up delivery times and save up to 18% on postage.

USPS Sponsored Cost Savings

Despite this new postage rate increase, the United States Postal Service is still the most efficient mailing service for direct marketers. Throughout the year, they offer promotions and incentives for brands who utilize innovative and interactive elements in their direct mail marketing piece to increase consumer engagements. See below for a list of the 2024 USPS promotions:

  • Tactile, Sensory & Interactive (February 1st – July 31st): Mailers who deliver a sensational customer experience through specialty inks and papers, texture, scents, or interactive folds can receive a 5% discount per mailing.
  • Personalized Color Transpromo (February 1st – July 31st): Mailers who make bills and statements fun by sharing exciting offers using color, dynamic variable print, and personalization can receive a 3% discount per mailing. Mailers who meet all those requirements and include a Courtesy Reply Mail or Business Reply Mail can receive a 4% discount per mailing.
  • Reply Mail IMbA (July 1st – December 31st): Mailers who enroll in IMbA and include a static barcode with a Business Reply Mail (BRM) can receive a 3% discount. If mailers use a serialized barcode, they can receive a 6% discount.
  • Informed Delivery (August 1st – December 31st): Mailers who integrate physical mailboxes with digital inboxes can receive a 4% discount per mailing.
  • Retargeting (September 1st – November 30th): Mailers who send a postcard that follows up with a previous digital experience that didn’t convert can receive a 5% discount.
  • Emerging and Advanced Technology (Choose your start date, must run 6 consecutive months during CY2024): Mailers who incorporate enhanced augmented reality such as 3D images, uses basic voice commands, or mobile shopping elements such as a QR code will receive a 3% discount per mailing. Mailers who incorporate advanced voice integrations, a video, mixed or virtual reality can receive a 4% discount per mailing.

2024 USPS Marketing Mail Growth Incentives

In August 2023, the USPS filed two, year-long growth incentives with the Postal Regulatory Commission. Each mail growth incentive will offer postage credits equivalent to a 30% discount to mailers for Marketing Mail and First Class volumes above fiscal year (FY) 2023 or 1 million pieces in calendar year (CY) 2024. Qualified marketing mail products include letters, flats and parcels. Qualified First Class products include letters and flats. 

Discounts will be calculated on pieces mailed exceeding USPS FY 2023 (Oct. 1 2022 – Sept. 30, 2023) volumes, and volume thresholds are based on USPS FY 2023. The incentive will run CY 2024 (Jan. 1, 2024 – Dec. 31, 2024).

To be eligible, mail owners are required to register for the incentive to establish a baseline volume for FY 2023 and:

  • Mail at least one million qualifying pieces in CY 2024, and/or
  • Mail more qualifying pieces in CY 2024 than they mailed in FY 2023

Mailers can participate in either or both Mail Growth Incentives, but the incentives cannot be combined to reach the million-piece minimums. Postage credits will be issued after FY 2023 volume has been exceeded and must be used for postage by December 31, 2025.


If you are looking for other ways to trim production costs, counter the effects of the USPS marketing mail postage rate increase, and enhance your direct mail program in 2024, contact us for a free analysis with one of our mailing experts.