Mailing Helpful Hints   Mailing Helpful Hints  

Spectrum Printer's state-of-the-art digital pre-press department, press, and bindery with CASS certified mailing services means most of your jobs are completed under our roof without costly delays. Mailing hints have been written to assist you in preparing your print job. In the event you have any questions regarding our mailing services, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to assist you.

Services provided by Spectrum

CASS certifying your mailing list

The CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) is a USPS (United States Postal Service) process designed to improve the accuracy of your mailings by verifying your address list against an official list of all known deliverable addresses in the United States. The official list is updated quarterly by the USPS. For example, if you live at 101 Main Street, and your next-door neighbor's house is 105 Main Street, an address with 103 Main Street is invalid and CASS certification would reject the address. That address would not be used in your mailing, saving you money, and saving the USPS costs. When we process your mailing list through the CASS software, it provides a printed list of all addresses that are "undeliverable" and the reason the address is undeliverable. We can provide you with the "undeliverables" list so you can update your master list. By utilizing CASS, the USPS gives discounts on postage costs, which we pass on to you.

Examples of postage per piece of CASS certified. Letter size.


Non-CASS Certified Presorted

CASS Certified Basic

CASS Certified 3-Digit

CASS Certified 5-Digit

CASS Certified Carrier Route Basic

First Class Mail
(1 oz or less)

.433 each

.405 each

.384 each

.360 each


Standard Mail
(3.3 oz or less)

.290 each

.282 each

.266 each

.247 each

.279 each

Non-Profit Mail
(3.3 oz or less)

.178 each

.170 each

.154 each

.135 each

.202 each

Example of postage per piece of CASS Certified. Flat size.


Non-CASS Certified Presorted

CASS Certified Basic

CASS Certified 3 Digit

CASS Certified 5 Digit

CASS Certified Carrier Route

First Class Mail
(1 oz or less)

.972 each

.940 each

.794 each

.606 each


Standard Mail
(3.3 oz or less)

.566 each

.511 each

.455 each

.362 each

.279 each

Non-Profit Mail
(3.3 oz or less)

.417 each

.362 each

.306 each

.216 each

.202 each

Tabbing (if needed)

Spectrum has the capability to tab close folded pieces. Tabbing is required by the USPS on folded pieces to allow mailed pieces to process through their high-speed equipment efficiently. See "Tabbing requirements" below for instructions on USPS rules on tabs.

Ink Jetting

We inkjet the addresses from your mailing list directly on your product. We also add the USPS automation bar codes needed to speed delivery through their system to your customer.

Forms and Delivery to Post Office

We fill out all forms the USPS needs to process your mailing. If you would like, we can provide for you a copy of the forms, which can be mailed, faxed or e-mailed to you.

Labeling using Customer Supplied labels

We can mail your project using pressure sensitive labels supplied by you. Don't forget to sort them in zip code order, otherwise we will need to hand sort them or mail 1st class, both resulting in increased costs to you. The best solution to getting the lowest postage costs is to provide us with an electronic file of your mailing list so we can inkjet the addresses on your project.


NCOALink matches names and addresses on your mailing list to changes of address filed with the USPS by relocating postal customers. When the name and address information on your mailing list matches the name and address information on the NCOALink file, a new address will be returned. NCOALink is updated weekly. The file is maintained by the U.S. Postal Service.

Size requirements

Weight: at least .007" thick
Height: at least 3.5"
Width: at least 5"

Ink, Varnish & paper color requirements

Ink: For best results the address should be printed on a white background. If you plan to incorporate any ink color(s) in the mailing area, please send us a proof so we can check to see if it will meet USPS specifications.

Varnish: We are unable to ink jet addresses on a piece that has been varnished because the ink used for addressing will not dry. The ink then smears and the addresses are unreadable.

Paper: Once again white is the preferred choice, but light colors like cream or ivory are acceptable. If you plan on using any color of paper please check with us for suitability with USPS specifications.

Automation Compatibility

To make a mail piece Automation Compatible:

  • You must be sure nothing is in the OCR read area
  • That the mail piece fits within the postal requirements for size, weight
  • You have your return address in the upper left hand corner
  • Permit in the upper right hand corner
  • Make sure it is tabbed or sealed correctly
  • The barcode clear zone is empty of any print

Paying for your postage costs

The USPS requires that the postage for a mailing must be in the account at the time of mailing. They will not accept or process a project without the postage paid in advance.

USPS Information and Links

We can answer many of your technical questions regarding USPS regulations, however, sometimes it is best to review a piece directly with the post office you are planning to mail from. Here are phone numbers our most commonly used post offices:

Adrian Post Office


 - Annie Holbrook

Ann Arbor Post Office


 - Margret (Ext 36&37)

Detroit Post Office


 - Debbie

Jackson Post Office


 - Barb Dixon

Tecumseh Post Office


 - Gina

Ypsilanti Post Office


 - Ext #16 - Al


Mail Piece Design Analyst
Russell Boyd (Michigan Area)


   Fax: 313-226-8124

To find a post office near you, or for additional postal requirement information click here