Saturday, October 3, 2015

Everything You Need to Know About Invitation Postage - Perfect Envelopes Part 2

Postage, postage, postage... When you're sending out specialty mail such as invitations, this is an unexpected, but extremely important part of the process. You definitely want to avoid having your lovely mail pieces returned due to an error in mailing! When was the last time that you went to the Post Office to mail something that was irregular, or cost more to mail because of its weight? This tends to be uncharted waters for many, so rest easy, I'm here to help! You can thank me later. 


Once you've addressed your envelopes (info on that in Perfect Envelopes Part 1), you will need to figure out the perfect postage to complete the package.

Here are the factors that you must take into consideration when choosing postage:

1. Envelope Size
2. Envelope Shape
3. Package Weight
4. The look you want 
(this is listed last, but honestly, It's REALLY important in my opinion)
Note the matching wrap around labels (available for sale in our Etsy Shop) and love stamp? The USPS online has a ton of stamp options in many denominations so that you can design your mail piece even down to the stamp. 
Here's how pricing postage works...
A standard sized envelope (here are the USPS guidelines for standard) costs the "regular" postage rate. At the time that this post was written, the "regular" postage rate is $.49

If your envelope is larger than the standard size,  or does not have the correct proportions, then there will be added charges (you can find the other charges in the guidelines here). 

Now, there is also a surcharge for certain things that make a parcel more difficult for the USPS to process. At the time of writing this, the surcharge is $.22. However this can change as well. But for now, let's use $.22. So... Anytime that your parcel is not flat (has a bump from a ribbon or other element) or is oddly shaped (square), a $.22 surcharge will be added.
*** That's right, square envelopes are more to mail, so keep that in mind when you design your invitations!

This envelope is a standard size, and the contents were not heavy, so it bears a "regular" postage stamp.
As you can see in the photo below, this "regular" proportioned, small envelope has a stamp of $.66 on it. The rates were different when this was mailed, but it was bumped up from a standard stamp due to it's bulk (there was quite a little explosion of invitation when you opened that tiny envelope). 
"Good Things Come in Small Packages" invitation available in our Etsy Shop
On the envelope below, which invited guests to an engagement party, we used a very custom stamp with a silhouette of the couple. Zazzle offers custom postage in just about any denomination that you could possibly need. They have many pre-created designs, or you can upload your own. I've used them for a ton of jobs. The quality is great, the stamps look amazing on the mail pieces, and I highly recommend their site! 
(I was not paid or compensated at all for that endorsement, FYI)
If you'd like a custom silhouette image, contact us!
Here's another example of using a Bar Mitzvah boy's logo on his custom postage from Zazzle
This mail package had lots of enclosures, so it required $.91 which was available through Zazzle
Now, if you don't want to go the Zazzle and custom postage route, you can find some lovely USPS stamps to match your mail pieces. The example below shows how we used a Vintage Rose Forever stamp set from the USPS to tie in the black and white details of this invitation suite. 
You can see that we purchased the Two-Ounce stamp for the main envelope (the bulk required more postage) and the regular forever stamp for the RSVP envelope.

A note on postcards...
Postcards do not require as much postage as a regular envelope. This is a good way to save a little money on the RSVP. Many times we have customers choose an RSVP postcard. However, you MUST make sure that your postcard meets the USPS guidelines found here. 

A note on boxed invitations...
When you get into sending an invitation in a box, it is then shipped as a package. These must be calculated by the post office based on size and weight. 

Now, let's create some amazing custom invitations to mail and send them on their way! Check us out on Instagram where we have a load of photos of various postage designs that we've created and other mail lovelies. 
Follow us, leave a comment, or say hello, we love to connect! 

What are you sending out next? 

Sparkle On!
~Kathy

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