On Jan. 9, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) enacted several new postage increases, predominantly impacting Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, and other shipping service products, the first such hikes since implementing its new “market-dominant prices” on Aug. 29, 2021.
The USPS additionally approved others that have taken effect on July 10, 2022.
Here's what you need to know.
Why Are Postage Prices Increasing?
Yearly postage increases are a routine occurrence in response to inflation costs and the fluctuating Consumer Price Index. After annual approval by the PRC, new postage rates take effect each January.
However, last August’s price increases, as well as those on July 10, take into account some new factors.
On March 23, 2021, the USPS announced its 10-Year Plan titled “Delivering for America,” an ambitious initiative aiming to “return the organization to financial sustainability and achieve service excellence,” according to its corresponding press release. The plan is designed to reverse a projected $160 billion in operating losses, and enable the USPS to invest around $40 billion throughout the next 10 years into infrastructural improvements, modernization, and maximizing overall efficiency and reliability.
“The need for the U.S. Postal Service to transform to meet the needs of our customers is long overdue,” explained Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy in a statement at the time. “Our Plan calls for growth and investments, as well as targeted cost reductions and other strategies that will enable us to operate in a precise and efficient manner to meet future challenges, as we put the Postal Service on a path for financial sustainability and service excellence.”
Postage Increases Effective July 10, 2022
Notable increases include a 2-cent hike for the First-Class Mail Forever stamp, from 58 to 60 cents, and will raise First-Class Mail prices by about 6.5%—lower than the 7.9% Consumer Price Index spike between February 2021 and 2022.
Here are the July 10 price changes:
Mailing Services Rate Changes
- First-Class Mail Forever stamps will increase from $0.58 to $0.60.
- First-Class Mail will increase by about 6.5%.
- Domestic 1-ounce letters will increase from $0.58 to $0.60.
- Additional ounces for a single-piece letter will increase from $0.20 to $0.24.
- 1-ounce metered mail will increase from $0.53 to $0.57.
- Postcard stamps will increase from $0.40 to $0.44.
- International 1-ounce letters will increase from $1.30 to $1.40.
First Class Rate Changes
- First-Class Letters will increase from $0.485 to $0.515 (6%) for Mixed Automated Area Distribution Center (AADC) Mail.
- First-Class Flats will increase from $0.891 to $0.934 (5%) for Mixed AADC.
- First-Class Postcards will increase from $0.326 to $0.359 (10%) for Mixed AADC. While not part of this increase, the USPS officially announced on August 29, 2021 that 9” x 6” postcards would be eligible for presorted postcard first-class mail rates.
Marketing Mail Rate Changes
- Marketing Mail Letters will increase from $0.330 to $0.349 (6%) for Mixed AADC.
- Marketing Mail Flats will increase from $0.798 to $0.854 (7%) for Mixed AADC.
Non-Profit Mail Rate Changes
- Non-Profit Mail Letters will increase from $0.199 to $0.207 (4%) for Mixed AADC.
- Non-Profit Mail Flats will increase from $0.594 to $0.648 (9%) for Mixed AADC.
For a complete list of these changes, click here.
These new rates are routinely announced on the USPS website.
What the Postage Increase Means to You
Given these increases, it is best practice for marketers to adjust budgets accordingly when preparing for upcoming campaigns.
As industry leaders, Design Distributors has anticipated these increases by employing a variety of innovative strategies. For instance, within our Postage Optimization Process, we offer options such as Postage Consolidation and Commingling, both of which can be combined into a hybrid option.
As the USPS invests more in technology and modernizes its processing network, Design Distributors also recognizes the importance of continued evolution and cutting-edge modernization within the direct mail industry.
Recently upgrading our HP PageWide Web Press from a T240 to T250 HD, our experienced professionals are committed to staying ahead of industry trends, leveraging this state-of-the-art tech to provide the widest media versatility on the market, and unparalleled personalization.
A profitable, effective strategy for any marketing campaign, direct mail continues to demonstrate competitive (112%) return on investment (ROI) and response rates (9% for house lists), with a remarkable 7.7 billion parcels delivered to more than 161 million countrywide addresses in 2020.
Where seasoned expertise meets revolutionary printing advancements such as the T250 HD, Design Distributors is committed to making your next direct mail campaign stand out from the competition.
Contact Design Distributors today for a quote on your next project.