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USPS Proposes Changes for Marketing Mail

Written by Michelle Toivonen

Don’t Miss Your Chance! Comment Now on Proposed USPS Marketing Mail Changes

The United States Postal Service® (USPS® ) is receiving comments now until October 22, 2018 on the proposed changes of content allowable as Marketing Mail. They are seeking input from mailers like you.

The USPS® has published a Federal Register notice proposing to revise the content standards for USPS Marketing Mail® letters and flats. The proposed change would limit USPS Marketing Mail letters and flats to content that is only paper-based/printed matter. No merchandise or goods, regardless of value, would be allowed to be mailed as USPS Marketing Mail letters or flats.



Why the proposed change?

In the Federal Register notice, the USPS cites the goal of improving the processing and delivery of goods and merchandise through the mailstream as the reason for the proposed change.

They list three goals:

  • Facilitate levels of service expected for processing and delivery of merchandise
  • Move fulfillment of merchandise and goods out of USPS Marketing Mail, consistent with the previous transfer of fulfillment parcels out of USPS Marketing Mail (Standard Mail® previously)
  • Reduce operational inefficiencies when machines are unable to process letter-size or flat-size inflexible items

Potential Impact

This proposed change would impact mailers who currently include items that might be considered merchandise or goods in their letter or flat size mailings. Since the proposal specifies that the content would be limited to paper based printed matter, this would exclude items such as gift cards, loyalty cards, CD’s, DVD’s, coins, pens, or anything that is not printed on paper. Nonprofit mailings in particular often include such non-paper items as thank-you gifts. We strongly encourage all Mail Owners and Mail Service Providers who may be impacted by this ruling to respond to the USPS with comments.

Comment By October 22, 2018

The Federal Register requests comments from all interested parties. We encourage mailers to respond to the notice with their comments, both pro and con, within the comment period, which is open until October 22, 2018. Comments may be submitted by mail to:Manager Product Classification U.S. Postal Service 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW Room 4446 Washington DC 20260-5015 Comments may also be submitted via email to, using the subject line “USPS Marketing Mail Content Eligibility.”


The Federal Register notice may be accessed online at Questions may be directed to Elke Reuning-Elliott at or 202-268-4063.


Reprinted and adapted from USPS.


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