All customers interested in using the campus permit should contact Jeremy Goodwin at 303-492-4667 or e-mail at or at

General Information

What is Non-Profit Standard (Marketing Mail)?

The United States Postal Service defines it this way: Must be a minimum of 200 pieces, all the same weight and size. Available for letters up to 3.4 ounces, and flats up to 16 ounces. Content restrictions: Advertising for credit cards, insurance and travel are prohibited. Other advertising must be "substantially related" to the mission of the University. This requirement can be difficult to interpret; please contact Imaging Services for assistance if you have any questions.

What can CU Imaging Services do for you?

We manage two University of Colorado at Boulder Non-Profit mailing permits.  These permits link with a CU account that allows us to bill you internally. The alternative requires a check presented to the Post Office before the mailing goes out. Before you begin! Consult with our design staff, we have all of the current mailing templates we may be able to direct your project to substantial savings!

After the design is complete, Imaging Services can create a mailing proof of your design and quote postage. We will also prepare cost estimates for your printing and finishing. Imaging Services can also create the mailing list for you, from a list you provide or from the campus information system.

Automation - The Key to Greater Efficiency that Saves You Money

The more we do to automate the mail the greater the discount. Advancements in computer software and addressing hardware along with digital technology give the user the opportunity to prepare mail so the post office can best use its equipment. In return, the post office recognizes this effort and rewards the user with postal rate discounts. An important added benefit is the increased speed of delivery. The more we do to properly prepare our mail the less equipment it will touch at the post office and this will help speed delivery.

New Information About Mail Standards

New Address List Standards

New address list standards for standard mail are effective on November 23, 2008, and require mailers to check all mailing lists through the National Change Of Address (NCOA) database as well as the CASS database. If mail lists are not certified through the databases they will not be eligible for Non-Profit mail rates and would be mailed at First Class rates or could be refused entirely.

New Address Standards for Commercial Flat-Size Mail

New address standards for commercial flat-size mail are effective on March 29, 2009, and require mailers to place delivery addresses in the top half of all Periodicals, Standard Mail, and Package Services flats mailed at automation, presorted, or carrier route prices. Additional standards relate to address characteristics and apply to all commercial flat-size pieces, including First-Class Mail.

Critical Return Address Information

CU Imaging Services maintains two Non-Profit permits for the campus. The United States Post Office (USPS) has very specific rules and regulations regarding the use of Non-Profit permits and it is important to adhere to these regulations if not followed the USPS will refuse the mailing.  

The return address must be:  

University of Colorado Boulder 

It is critical that this name is used on all pieces of bulk mail.  

Submitting Your List & What Happens Next

Submitting Your Mailing List

The best method for submitting your mailing list to us is in EXCEL format (should not be a comma delimited file). If possible, please layout your data fields like this:

Last Name, First Name, Address, City, State, Zip

  • Files where first name and last names are in one field will be split into 2 fields.
  • City, State, and Zip codes will be split into 3 fields.
CASS System

The CASS system improves the accuracy of carrier route, five-digit ZIP®, ZIP + 4®, and delivery point codes that appear on mail pieces. CASS checks your file and standardizes the address formats (International records are ignored)

NCOA System

You cannot update or change your file while it is "out" for NCOA unless you are able to overlay records when the file returns.   If you are not able to overlay the changed records, you must wait for the file to return before you can make any modifications to it.  Many point-of-sale programs do not allow for this "down time" and are not capable of overlaying changed records.  In cases where you cannot be "down" for several days, or where you cannot re-import the new file, you will need to get a hard copy of the captured move updates and manually update your file. 

What else do you get?

When your file is returned from NCOA, a code filed will have been added.  the codes denote whether the record was updated from an individual move, a business move or a family move.  There are also codes to note records which were close matches, but not close enough to allow a change to be made to your file.  These records are called "nixies".  Nixies occur when there is a spelling difference in a name or company name, or when exact addresses cannot be matched (a typo in the street address).  Other codes note moves without forwarding addresses and people or companies which have moved out of the country.  All these codes arm you with information you can use to update your mailing list.

Saving Money With Design Decisions

Address Standards for Commercial Flat-Size Mail

New Address Standards for Commercial Flat Size

New address standards for commercial flat-size mail are effective on March 29, 2009, and require mailers to place delivery addresses in the top half of all Periodicals, Standard Mail, and Package Services flats mailed at automation, presorted, or carrier route prices. Additional standards relate to address characteristics and apply to all commercial flat-size pieces, including First-Class Mail.

The Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) is available on Postal Explorer (

This is the new standards layout for mailing pieces which will include; Flats, Envelopes, Newsletters and like pieces. The mailing address must be in the top half of the piece.


Whenever possible material should be folded to fit into a 6 x 9" or smaller envelope. A larger envelope will cost twice as much in postage.  

Use a booklet style envelope over an open-end envelope.  A booklet style envelope has the opening on the top edge.  Not only is it easier to stuff, it can be sealed and metered all in one step.  

Height: Between 3-1/2" and 6-1/8"
Length: Between 5" and 11-1/2"
Thickness: Minimum thickness .007" if less than 4-1/4" high and 6" long, or .009" if more than 4-1/4" high and 6" long.
Weight: Maximum: 3.33 ounces for Nonprofit rate.


When mailing postcards 4” x 6” and larger you need be careful how you orient the mailing area. By making the long edge on the bottom, the piece qualifies for letter rates. Turn the piece 90 degrees and you will pay a higher postage rate. The Aspect Ratio (length divided by height) must be between 1.3 and 2.5.

Minimum size: 3-1/2" high, 5" long, .007" thick
Maximum size: 4-1/4" high, 6" long, .016" thick
Paper Color: Any light color, no brilliant colors
Paper Weight: Not less than 75-pound paper


For flats prepared as single sheets or in envelopes, the height is perpendicular to the length, the length is the longest dimension. For flats with a bound or folded edge, the height is the dimension parallel to the bound or folded edge. The length is perpendicular to the height. If a flat is folded more than once or bound and then folded, the height is based on the final fold. These pieces must be designed so the address is in view when the final folded edge is to the right and any intermediate bound or folded edge is at the bottom. Flats must be rectangular, never square.

Height: Between 4" and 12"
Length: Between 4" and 15 3/4"
Weight: Max: 16 oz. for Standard Mail rates
Thickness:Min: 1/4 inch   Max: 3/4 inch

Leave Room for the Barcode

Always leave the lower right portion of any self mailer or envelope clear of any printing. This is where the post office sprays the barcodes. When it receives material with printing in this area, it affixes a white pressure sensitive strip over the printing in order to spray the barcode on an unprinted surface. Any wording or design you may have in this area will be covered up. Also leave 1/8” around the Postage Area (Where you would put a stamp). Leave a 2x4 of space for the mailing panel (ORC) read area.

Proper Folding Can Save You Money

If possible your common edge should be on the bottom of the mailing piece. The loose flaps should be at the top. The reason is that all mail travels through automated machinery (on the bottom of the piece) at the post office. It slides through machines on that apply the zip+4 and Barcode on the bottom edge of the piece at incredibly high rates. If the bottom edge is one fold, with no loose edges, the piece will move through the machinery smoothly and will not rip or tear.

Tabbing Requirements

Self-Mailers prepared for automation rate mailings must be tabbed (secured) to prevent an open edge from jamming high-speed processing equipment.

Construction of the mail piece plays an important role in determining automation compatibility. Standards for tabbing are based on basis weight of paper stock used and the location of the folded or bound edge. As an alternative to tabs or wafer seals, the open edge of the length of the mail piece may be continuously glued or spot glued. Tabs are not required on flats but may be necessary or advisable to meet other preparation standards.