What is...Presorting?

July 23, 2021
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Presorting is the process of grouping mail pieces by zip code before delivering them to the Post Office. Presorting organizes your mail by destination, which lowers postage costs. That's because by grouping mail together you’re actually helping the Postal Service save time, money and resources on their processing. So the Postal Service passes on the savings by reducing the amount of postage due from your business. But, what does it take to presort your mail? How can you reclaim all the presort benefits? Let’s start with the types of presorted mail...

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What types of mail can be presorted?

There are two types of mail that can be presorted: First-Class Mail® and Marketing Mail®. The types of First-Class Mail® pieces that qualify for presorting are:

  • Account Statements & Bills
  • Postcards
  • Personalized or Unique Mail Items

While the Marketing Mail® pieces that qualify for presorting are:

  • Printed Matter (flyers, advertisements)
  • Bound, Printed Matter (newsletters, catalogues)
  • Small Marketing Mail® Parcels

There is a 500 piece minimum for 5-Digit Presorted First-Class Mail® while 5-Digit Presorted Marketing Mail® requires a 200 piece or 50 pound (~22-23 kg) minimum. However, when you presort and outsource your mail with Impress® using the AADC Presort, minimums are eliminated - meaning whether sending 10 or 100 pieces of mail, you get presorting savings!

What does presorting save on postage?

When you presort your mail, you become eligible for the USPS®’s Commercial pricing. Here are the current rates for AADC Presorted First-Class Mail®. To check out all of the current Presort prices, download the current USPS® Notice123*.

Presorted First-Class Mail® Prices*

Product Stamped Meter AADC Presort AADC Savings vs. Stamped AADC Savings vs. Meter
Letter – up to 1 oz. $0.58 $0.53 $0.428 $0.122 $0.082
Letter – up to 2 oz. $0.75 $0.71 $0.428 $0.322 $0.282
Letter – up to 3 oz. $0.95 $0.91 $0.428 $0.522 $0.482
Letter – up to 3.5 oz. $1.15 $1.11 $0.428 $0.722 $0.682
Postcard – 4.5 in H x 6 in L $0.36 – – $0.279 $0.081 – –
Large Envelope (Flats) – up to 1 oz. $1.00 – – – – – – – –
Large Envelope (Flats) – up to 2-3 oz. $1.20-$3.40 – – – – – – – –

*These rates reflect the current presorted postage rates. These rates are scheduled to change on August 29, 2021. This table and link will be updated with new rate information when they go into effect.

What are the benefits of presorting mail?

The main benefit of presorting is the savings you get. When you presort your First-Class Mail® sends, you can save an average of 40 cents per mail piece1. With First-Class Mail® being one of the most popular ways to send mail, those savings add up the more that you send. And these savings are great for all sized businesses as the minimums are eliminated when you presort and outsource your mail with Impress! That means that no matter your send size, you reap the rewards of presorting.

How can I presort mail for my business?

There are multiple ways that you can presort, either on your own or with some help. The two most common ways you can presort on your own are 3-Digit and 5-Digit presorting. On the USPS® Postal Explorer, the differences between these types of presorting are:

  • 3-Digit is when the ZIP Code in the delivery address on all pieces beings with the same three digits.
  • 5-Digit is when the delivery address on all pieces includes the same 5-digit ZIP code.

However, if the thought of sorting, grouping, and collating mail makes you groan, there are other ways that you could get the presort savings while saving you time on mail prep. With the help of our mail automation solution Impress®, you can get presort savings while cutting back on the tedious, manual tasks that make mail prep such a drag. All you do is upload your documents and the software does the presorting for you. And when you pair Impress® with our address validation solution e-Validate, you can presort and prevent undeliverable mail fees – increasing your savings!

1 Savings is based on the combined USPS Letter rates for First-Class Stamps and First-Class Metered Mail vs the USPS Letter rates for First-Class Presorted (AADC) Mail. Average savings is derived from 1oz – 3.5oz USPS Letter rates as of August 3, 2021 and is based on an equal weighting for each class and weight.



Mail automation software that makes presorting easy!

With Impress® mail automation software you can start presorting – and saving – right from your desktop.