Bulk Mailing Procedures

Departments may save on postage for non-profit mailings which qualify for the special bulk rate as subsidized by the U.S. Government. Bulk rate is applicable to mailings which are identical in size and weight, separately addressed, and in quantities not less than 200 pieces. Bulk rate cannot be used for personal or private mailings or for less than 200 pieces per mailing. Printed matter, merchandise, magazines, newspapers, circulars, and printed letters or post cards are acceptable for bulk mailings. There are also several different restrictions on the weight of each piece in the mailing, so please contact Mail Services for additional help in preparing your mailing.

This third-class bulk rate is the least expensive of any type mail, and commands no priority handling. Depending upon the time a mailing is sent out, delivery time can be as much as five to fifteen days in process. Therefore, a lead time of at least ten days is advisable if mailing contains time-sensitive material. The peak mailing periods when heavy volume at the Post Office prevents the delivery of third-class mail is the first through fifth and around the fifteenth of the month. When mailing at these times, allow additional time to assure reasonable response. All bulk mail is required to have the appropriate zip code following the designated state. All bulk mail is required to have a printed indicia for billing purposes. See below for instructions on bulk mail preparation.

Bulk Mail sorting is prepared as follows:

  • Ten or more pieces with the same FIVE digit ZIP code are grouped together. No marking is required on bundles with the same five digit zip code.
  • Ten or more pieces with the same THREE digit ZIP code are grouped together and marked "SCF."
  • Ten or more remaining pieces for the same state are bundled together and marked with appropriate state abbreviation.
  • Tie all remaining pieces together and mark "Mixed States."

When tying a bundle, one band must be vertical and one band must be horizontal. When marking a bundle, it is necessary to mark only the top piece in the upper right corner in small print.

Examples of Bulk Mail Bundles

  • Ten or more pieces with the same five digit ZIP Code
    Ellendale, TN 38029 (5 digit sort)
  • Ten or more pieces with the same three digit ZIP Code
    Memphis, TN 38107
    Memphis, TN 38122 (3 digit sort)
  • Ten or more pieces with the same state but less than 10 each ZIP
    TN (State sort)

*All others bundle as Mixed States if less than 10 of each state.