Mailing 101

Business Reply Mail

Business Reply Mail is extremely useful when you want to cover the postage on mail pieces sent back to you. The big advantage of using Business Reply Mail is that postage is paid only on the pieces sent back to you. This encourages a greater response rate, and postage doesn't need to be pre-paid or pre-applied to every return envelope you send out.

Business Reply Envelope

Basic vs. High Volume / Qualified

Addressing & Mailing Services maintains both High Volume and Qualified USPS Business Reply permits that can be used by University departments. The benefit of using one central permit is that as the overall volume of Business Reply pieces increases, per-piece postage rates go down. If a department were to set up their own Business Reply permit, they would be required to pay an annual permit fee of $225.00, they would have to keep the permit account funded with enough money to cover the incoming mail pieces, and they would end up paying about $0.75 more per piece in postage compared to a High Volume Business Reply account.

Envelope Specifications

Each Business Reply envelope that utilizes the University's permit must be pre-approved by Addressing & Mailing Services. We will provide you with a code that must be placed in the return address on the envelope -- this code allows us to charge the applicable postage back to your department by associating it in our system with your department's EFS string. Business Reply envelopes must follow strict formatting requirements, so it is recommended that envelopes be printed by Printing Services. Using Business Reply envelopes that do not meet USPS sizing and formatting standards can result in additional postage charges, and/or revocation of our BRM permit.

Utilizing Business Reply Mail

After USPS has completed their processing of Business Reply Mail, the mail pieces are delivered to our location. We record the number of pieces received for each department (based on the unique code we provided upon approval), and then forward the mail pieces on through Campus Mail. Postage and handling fees are billed to the EFS string associated with the unique code on a monthly basis, along with a $6.00 per month accounting fee.

To set up a new Business Reply Mail charge code, or for any other Business Reply Mail related questions, please contact Kristen Kleppen at or 612-624-8258.