The United States Postal Service has announced that postage and shipping increases will take effect on January 24, 2021.  The good news is that the cost of a First-Class Forever Stamp for a letter of 1-ounce or less will stay at 55 cents  and the 1-ounce flat rate will also stay at its current price of $1.  Other services will see a modest increase.  Each additional ounce of a single-piece letter will increase in cost from 15 cents to 20 cents, while the current prepaid, “metered mail” 1-ounce price will go up from 50 cents to 51 cents. Domestic postcards will cost a penny more, from the current 35 cents to 36 cents.

In a statement announcing the price changes, the USPS noted that it receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund its operations. The Postal Service also stated it still has some of the lowest letter-mail postage rates in the industrialized world, and unlike some other shippers, the USPS does not add surcharges for fuel, residential delivery, or regular Saturday delivery.

  • The First-Class Mail letter (1 oz.) rate for postage purchased at the Post Office will remain at $0.55 (no change from 2020).
  • Each additional ounce for a First-Class Mail letter will cost $0.20, a five-cent increase from 2020.
  • “Metered Mail” rates for First Class Mail letters (1 oz.), which includes online postage and postage meters, will increase one cent to $0.51.
  • Non-Profit Carrier Route Flat Rates will see an average increase of 1.44%, while Non-Profit Automation Flat rates, like other flat-size classifications will see an average increase of 3.38%.
  • Priority Mail Express will see an overall rate increase of 2.5 percent in 2021. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $22.75 (no change from 2020).
  • Priority Mail will receive an average rate increase of 3.6 percent in 2021. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $7.16 (previously $7.02).
  • First Class Package Service will increase 6.5 percent in 2021 on its average rate. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $3.01 (previously at $2.74).
  • Parcel Select Ground will get an average rate increase of 1.3 percent in 2021. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $7.01 (previously $6.92).
  • Media Mail rates will raise by 3.57 percent in 2021. Rates will start at $2.89 (previously $2.80).
  • NEW: An overweight/oversize surcharge of $100 will be added for packages that exceed the 70-lb. maximum weight limitation or the 130-inch length plus girth maximum
    dimensional size limit.

As always, list hygiene is the best way to maximize postage expense.  More personalization in your direct mail has also always been a good thing to strive for.  As noted earlier, postage costs continue to increase.  Fineline recommends using Variable Data Printing (VDP) on customers or members to engage with them 1-to-1. Your offers, charts, copy, and images can all be powered by your data. Paired with a strategy of focusing on your best performing segments, it will result in campaigns that are more customized, relevant and can result in a better return on your postage investment.

Fineline’s updated postal chart will provide guidelines and information on the 2021 increases, as well as mail planning suggestions.  It is recommended that our customers work closely with their client service representative to determine their best mail deployment strategy from a postage and delivery standpoint.