With the arrival of the new year comes changes to Canada Post services and pricing. Here is a summary of the changes that are most likely to affect your direct mail program. These changes are expected to go into effect on January 13, 2020.

Return of Undeliverable Mail

In my opinion, the best change Canada Post is implementing in the new year is the elimination of the fee for Return Postage Guaranteed with Personalized Mail.

Unlike Lettermail, if a Personalized Mail package is undeliverable Canada Post will not return the undeliverable package back to you. You’ll need to select Return Postage Guaranteed as an option at the time of mailing, and apply an RPG indicia to your mail piece:

Without the RPG indicia, Canada Post will not return those undeliverable mail packages back to you. If you don’t know that the package was not deliverable, how would you know to update or remove that undeliverable address from future mailings?

Previously, if you had selected Return Postage Guaranteed as an option at the time of mailing, and you had applied an RPG indicia to your mail piece, you paid a $0.01 per piece mailed surcharge to get the undeliverable mail returned to you.

As of January 13, 2020, the $0.01 per piece mailed surcharge is eliminated. That said, you still need to select Return Postage Guaranteed as an option at the time of mailing, and apply an RPG indicia to your mail piece to ensure that the undeliverable mail pieces are returned to you.

Getting those undeliverable mail pieces back and actioning them is a good data hygiene practice. When those pieces of returned mail come back to you, see if you can sort out why that mail piece is no longer deliverable. Maybe this is a good excuse to reach out to the donor to say hi. If you can’t find the correct address for your donor consider removing them from your active mailing database. There is no sense wasting money mailing things that will never reach the intended donor.

Streamlining of the Customer Guides

For those of you that have had the pleasure of referencing one of the Canada Post Customer Guides in the past (you have my sympathies…I know your pain) there is hope. In 2020, Canada Post will be streamlining the customer guides. They will still be written in Canada Post ‘speak’, but instead of having one for each of their mail product streams, they will be combining them into two guides.

The Smartmail Marketing Customer Guide will be your one-stop resource guide for the Personalized Mail, Postal Code Targeting and Neighbourhood Mail products. The Commercial Mail Customer Guide will be the consolidated resource guide for the Incentive Lettermail, Publications Mail, Business Reply Mail and International Incentive Letter-post products.

Pricing Changes

Lettermail and stamp prices for standard packages (up to 30g) will go up by $0.02 to $0.92. This will impact your costs for tax receipting which must mail as first class mail. It will also impact your postage costs if you send your higher end donors live stamped mailing packages.

Mail pieces destined for US addresses (Letterpost USA, up to 30g), increase by $0.03 to $1.26. International mail pieces, (Letterpost International up to 30g), increase by $0.06 to $2.58.

Machinable Personalized Mail (up to 50g) rises $0.01 to $0.495. Special Handling Personalized Mail for standard packages (up to 50g) goes from $0.54 to $0.56. However, the Phantom Rate for Personalized Mail up to 100g drops to $0.33. The Phantom Rate is the price Canada Post charges for the number of mail pieces that you fall short of the minimum mailing quantity for Special Handling Personalized Mail.

The majority of solicitation mail that we see in Canada is mailed as Machinable Personalized Mail. Formerly, this was referred to as Addressed Admail. For most of us, this price increase will be the most notable.

Neighbourhood Mail (formerly Unaddressed Admail) goes up $0.003 from $0.164 to $0.167 for standard mail pieces up to 50g.

For Business Reply Mail the annual fee goes up $25 from $750 to $775. The Business Reply Mail rate increases $0.02 from $0.93 to $0.95 for reply mail weighing 50g or less.
For those of you who use Canada Post’s Postal Code Targeting, the pricing for that product goes from $0.312 to $0.319.

Please note that these are the published Canada Post rates. If you mail sufficient volumes of mail annually you may qualify for discounted rates from Canada Post. The discounted rates will increase by the same amount as the published rates. Contact your Canada Post rep to see if you qualify for discounted rates.

For complete Canada Post published price lists and a more detailed explanation of the changes, check out Canada Post’s website.