The Bulk Mail department of Printing Services can help customers prepare their mailings to achieve the best possible discounts with the US Postal Service. The key to these savings is to contact Bulk Mail at the beginning of your project. By doing this we can help you to prepare your mail piece to be compatible with postal automation standards.

Much of the work should be done prior to printing the mail piece, because the choices you make regarding these items will affect the final per-piece postage cost.

How to Start the Standard Bulk Mail Process

  • Contact Bulk Mail Services, 765-285-8549, in the earliest stages of planning for a proposed Standard (bulk) mailing to ensure the mailing will qualify for discounted rates.
  • We recommend sending or email a sample of your mailing to Bulk Mail Services, before you go to print, to be reviewed for compliance with Post Office regulations for Standard (Bulk) Mail.
  • Send a completed Bulk Mail Services request form with a sample of your mailing to Bulk Mail Services.
  • Email your mailing list to and reference your job number.
  • Bulk Mailing is used for mailings of 200 or more identical mail pieces.

What is Standard Bulk Mail?

  • Standard Mail is printed matter which does not require First-Class or fast delivery service, weighs less than 1 pound (16 ounces), is made of printed pieces identical in content, size, and weight, and meets U.S. Postal Service requirements to be mailed at reduced rates.
  • It can be classed as Nonprofit or Regular. Nonprofit rates are lower than Regular Standard Mail and have strict U.S. Postal Service content and design requirements.

Qualifications for Standard Bulk Rates

  • Consist of a minimum of 200 pieces (or 50 pounds). Be made of printed pieces identical in content, size, and weight and must have the same number of enclosures. Weigh less than 1 pound (each piece). Contain only domestic addresses, certified as deliverable. Each piece must show the complete address of both the mailer and recipient. Nonprofit mailings have additional content and design requirements.
  • Content restrictions: Advertising for credit cards, insurance and travel is prohibited under all circumstances. Other advertising must be “substantially related” to the mission of the University (note: this requirement can be difficult to interpret; please contact Bulk Mail Services for assistance if you have questions).

BSU Permits

  • Bulk Mail Services maintains the BSU Nonprofit Standard Mail Permit that may be used by any Ball State University department for mailings if U.S. Postal Service content and design requirements are met. Since the postage rate for Nonprofit Standard Mail is substantially reduced, requirements to qualify for the rate are extensive and rules are strictly enforced by Bulk Mail Services and the U.S. Postal Service.
  • A Regular Standard Mail permit is used for mail not eligible for the nonprofit rate. It will be charged at the commercial rates. The general requirements for Regular Standard Mail are the same as Nonprofit Standard Mail; however, there are fewer restrictions on mail piece content.
  • Bulk Mail Services must authorize use of BSU’s Mail permits.

Automation Postage Rates

  • Discounted postage rates are available for automation-compatible mail if it meets specific standards so it can be scanned and processed by automated mail processing equipment at the Post Office. The automation standards involve size, shape, materials, readability, and correct bar-coding. Contact Bulk Mail Services.

Designing for Automation-Compatible Mail

  • Readable by automation equipment.
  • If mail piece is a folded self-mailer, open edge must be on top, folded edge on bottom. (Bulk Mail Services will add the tabs)
  • Folded mail pieces must have a special tab or seal closure. (Bulk Mail Services will add the tabs)
  • All mail pieces must be bar-coded. (Bulk Mail Services will print bar-codes)
  • Addresses need to be certified (Bulk Mail Services will perform verification and correction)
  • Mail piece must meet size and weight standards. Check with Bulk Mail Services for details

Costs for Standard Bulk Mail - Nonprofit and Regular

The cost for a qualified Standard Nonprofit or Standard Regular mailing is based on:

  • Postage Rates - nonprofit or regular
  • Design (if automation compatible, postage rates can be lower)
  • Billing Procedures for Standard (Bulk) Mail
  • Postage, and any other charges beyond addressing and tabbing will be recharged to the department by Bulk Mail Services using the FOAP that you provided on the Bulk Mail request form.

For questions contact the Printing Services Bulk Mail office