Bulk Mail Sorting, CASS Certification, and Intelligent Mail Bar Coding
ABOUT BULK MAILING AND BAR CODING
If you are printing a bulk mail piece, including an Intelligent Mail Bar Code on each piece generally results in lower postage rates per piece than with non-barcoded bulk mail.
Although you generally are not required to barcode your mail in order to receive the bulk mailing discounts, you must include a barcode in order to receive the extra barcoding discount.
Despite the additional savings for barcoding, you should be aware that there are also some additional costs and requirements. For example, before barcoding your mail, you must first CASS-certify your mailing list.
WHAT IS CASS CERTIFICATION?
In an attempt to improve the accuracy of mailing address information, the USPS, in cooperation with the mailing industry, developed CASS™ (Coding Accuracy Support System). CASS is a certification process that, in part, allows the developers of address matching software to test the accuracy of their products.
Software vendors that provide CASS Certified address matching software can standardize addresses by matching them to the address ranges in the USPS database. This is the fundamental basis of address quality for business mailers.
HOW TO CASS CERTIFY YOUR MAILING LIST?
There are many software vendors that provide CASS Certification as a service. Typically, you upload your mailing list to the service where it is CASS Certified and sorted to achieve the best bulk mail postal rates. Addresses are updated, the data is stripped of duplicate entries, and the cleansed version of the mailing list is returned to you for further processing.
The following web page provides more detail on CASS Certification, and also lists several vendors that provide certification services:
HOW TO ADD THE USPS INTELLIGENT MAIL BAR CODE?
Once your list has been CASS Certified, the cleansed list will typically hold an additional data field that contains the data for use with the USPS Intelligent Mail bar code. This data can then be merged into a variable data document using DesignMerge software. Please see the following article for more details about creating Intelligent Mail bar codes using DesignMerge software:
About DesignMerge USPS Intelligent Mail Bar Coding Support