Mail Tips


Save time and postage

  • Screen your mailing list for unnecessary names, duplicates and incomplete addresses. All addresses must have the city, state and zip code. Foreign addresses must have the country name in caps on the last line.
  • Keep foreign mail separate from US mail. They are processed differently. If foreign mail is mixed in and we put the domestic postage rate on it, then that postage is wasted since it is not the correct rate.
  • Screen your mailing list for any on campus addresses or any of the satellite campus addresses. Use the gold interoffice envelopes to send mail to addresses on campus. Don’t waste postage by sending that mail through the Post Office.
  • Do not over insure. The United States Postal Service will pay only the actual value of an item, not the declared value.
  • Use postcards for short messages and announcements. The minimum size for postcards is 3.5”x5” and the maximum is 4.25”x6”. The cost is 1/3 less than an envelope.
  • Combine mailings when possible into a larger envelope going to the same address.
  • Print inserts on both sides of a sheet of paper to keep the weight of your mail piece down, thus saving on postage.
  • Fax or email the information when time is crucial, instead of using an expensive service like Express Mail.
  • When mailing books/media (without any advertisements) request Media Mail when possible. Clearly mark the package and the postage charge slip. The savings can be as much as 50% of the cost of First Class Mail.
  • If you send out a lot of heavy books or thesis papers to domestic addresses, it may be more cost effective to send out a digital.PDF copy on a CD or DVD, especially if you send it out at the Media Mail rate instead of the First Class rate.
  • When sending just a few pieces of paper, whenever possible fold them and insert in a 6”x9” or a #10 envelope to reduce the postage cost.
  • Use “Certified” instead of “Registered” mail whenever possible. It costs less and still provides a notice of delivery to the sender.not requesting a return receipt. Return receipts are rarely needed or legally required. You can track the certified tracking numbers online to see when it is delivered.
  • Use Priority Mail rather than Express Mail when 2 to 3 day delivery is acceptable.
  • Depending on the weight and zip code, the regular priority rate may be cheaper than using the priority flat rate box/envelope. Call our office anytime to verify rates and costs.
  • Use the bulk standard mail rate indicia when mailing more than 200 pieces of identical weight and contents. Contact Document Services for more information.
  • Always use machine-size mail. A 21 cent surcharge will apply to each piece that doesn’t meet the machine standards. Call if you have any questions.
  • For faster delivery of your mail, address your envelopes by typing or using a printer, using black ink, using a minimum 10 point fixed font and all capital letters. Place the address in the middle of a white envelope and always use the Zip+4 code if it is known.
  • First Class envelopes/parcels that weigh more than 13 oz. are automatically rated as Priority Mail. Please use the Priority Mail envelopes/boxes provided by the Post Office. These supplies are free of charge.
  • All outgoing meter mail is required to have an NIU Postage Charge slip attached. In order to be processed quickly and correctly, please have current and correct contact information (name and phone number) on the charge slips, so we can contact the correct person if there is a problem or question.