In case you missed it, Canada Post made some changes earlier this year that may affect your direct mail program. If you’re feeling a bit lost trying to figure out what’s new, we’re here to help! Below is our annual summary of the service changes that are most likely to impact your program. (Note that pricing changes are in effect as of January 11, 2021).

More Indicia Changes

Canada Post sent out emails in October or November of last year advising that they would be introducing a 2D barcoded version of the Lettermail indicia. They also advised that they were introducing an indicia artwork tool as a one-stop shop to prepare your indicias.

The 2D barcoded version of the Lettermail indicia will be mandatory for use by April 2021. This gives you a grace period to use up any envelopes with the old format Lettermail indicia pre-printed on them.

Moving forward, any Lettermail indicias generated by the new indicia artwork tool will automatically be created in the new, required format.

That brings us to the new indicia artwork tool.  You can find the new indicia creation tool here.

Before you use it, you will need to have a few things on hand:

  • Your Canada Post Customer Number (this is the 7 or 8 digit number that appears on the indicia)
  • What service (Lettermail, Personalized Mail, etc.) your mailing will be
  • The estimated size/weight category that your mailing package will be (Standard or Dimensional)
  • Campaign ID (must be 4 digits, but can be any 4 digits of your choosing)
  • If you would like to prepare a custom indicia that displays an image in the indicia like the one below, you must have the image file on hand, and it can only be .png or .jpg format and less than 2 MB in size

personalized indicia

Once you have walked through the prompts and provided all the requested information, the new indicia artwork tool will generate the indicia artwork in .pdf and .eps format. From there you can download it and share with your designer or envelope supplier.

Helpful hint:

If you’re like me, you may be counting on your designer to create the image that will be displayed in the image area of the indicia. This would mean that you don’t have the image you want to use ready to go at the time the indicia artwork is prepared. In this case, you can upload any .png or .jpg format file that’s less than 2 MB in size. As long as your designer is provided with the .eps version of the file, they should be able to swap out your placeholder image for the real thing once they have created it!

Pricing Changes

Mail Type


As of January 11, 2021

Stamp prices for standard packages (30g or less)



Lettermail mailed on a postal indicia*



Incentive machineable Lettermail*



Machinable Personalized Mail (50g or less)



Special Handling Personalized Mail for standard packages



Phantom Rate for Personalized mail up to 100g (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)



Neighbourhood Mail, formerly Unaddressed Admail (50g or less)



Business Reply Mail annual fee



Business Reply Mail rate (50g or less)



* This could affect your costs for tax receipting which must mail as first class mail (unless it mails with a thank you letter or stewardship piece…more on that below).

The price increase for Machinable Personalized Mail, (formerly Addressed Admail), is probably the most notable increase for most of us.

I’ll 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.

Postage for Tax Receipt Mailings

Back in November, Canada Post changed the rules around what postage service could be used for tax receipt mailings.  Previously, if you were mailing a tax receipt it had to mail as Lettermail.  As of November, Canada Post now allows tax receipts to mail as Personalized Mail as long as the tax receipt is accompanied by a thank you letter or stewardship note.

For complete Canada Post published price lists and customer guides, check out their website.