When Mailing a Letter Does it Have to Be Flat? 

There are different terms used to describe mail pieces. Some of them are interchangeable with one another, while others are specific to the USPS. However, confusion between industry terminology and USPS definitions can cause significant problems when mailing a letter. This can affect the delivery of your mailpiece, and can also lead to an undeliverable letter. Therefore, it’s important to understand the differences between these types of mail. 

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When mailing a letter, you will need to determine what type of mailpiece you are sending. The first category is First-Class Mail, which is delivered in envelopes that exceed the width and height of standard letters. Additionally, if your envelope weighs more than 13 ounces, it is considered to be a package, which is subject to higher postage rates. 

Another type of mailpiece is a postcard. These are traditionally printed on two sides of card stock. Postcards are mailed quickly and cost less to produce than other mail formats. 

If you are sending a letter or postcard, you will want to be sure to address it correctly. Addressing is easy, but it is crucial to ensure that your mailing is correct. You can write the return address on the back of the mailpiece, or you can place it in the upper right corner. Other information to include in the address is the name of the recipient, his or her city, and state. A street address and apartment or suite number are important. 

In addition, you will need to be sure to adhere the stamp or postage to the envelope. The United States Postal Service has a price list page that details the current prices for each stamp. It also offers information on international mail, which can be a little confusing. 

Flats are large mailpiece that does not meet the requirements of a traditional letter. They cannot be more than 1/4 inch thick, and they must be at least 5 inches in length and 11.5 inches in width. For every additional ounce, the prices increase by $0.24. Flats must also be able to pass tests for deflection and flexibility. 

Flats can be a great way to reach a wider audience, especially if you are working within a limited budget. However, they are not appropriate for all audiences. Generally, flats are not suitable for mailing campaigns, as they do not have the same durability as other forms of mail. Unless you are working with a small budget, you may wish to stick with a standard envelope. 

If your mailpiece is non-machinable, it will be classified as a parcel and you will need to pay an extra 21 cents to mail it. This charge is applied to envelopes that are not able to pass tests for flexibility and deflection. Also, some classes of mail require you to send a valid return address. While this is not required, it can help you prevent an undeliverable mailpiece. 

Finally, you will need to make sure that you can machinate your mailpiece. The United States Postal Service has dozens of regulations that you must follow. All of these rules can be very confusing, but they are not mutually exclusive.