PMG is always analyzing direct mail industry trends that may impact our clients’ fundraising and marketing programs and budgets. Today we’re sharing important news about USPS postage rate increases, USPS Promotions postage discounts, paper cost trends, and direct mail environmental sustainability efforts.

USPS Files Rate Increase for July 2024 Implementation

Yesterday, USPS filed its proposal at the Postal Regulatory Commission to use its full rate authority in July, including a 73 cent First-Class stamp rate. The increased rates will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, July 14, 2024. The expected increases vary depending on the type of mail.

PMG will provide new postage rate information to clients in the days ahead and will advise on impacts to programs mailing in mid-July and onward.

Steve Kearney, Executive Director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers shared these insights with us today:

“We at the Alliance are very disappointed but not surprised with the Postal Service continuing its misguided attempt to grab all the money it can with full use of its regulatory authority every six months. In reality, USPS is gaining very little growth in revenue and losing large amounts on the bottom line.

We are heartened that the Postal Regulatory Commission just opened a reconsideration of its rate rules that allow USPS to go way above inflation. The Alliance will be actively engaged in the proceeding, presenting much evidence that the current rules are not achieving what they set out to for, a financially stable USPS.

We appreciate the support of all our members, including PMG. If postal management and the USPS Governors will not reverse their flawed pricing strategy, we are optimistic that we can convince the regulator.”

Contact your PMG representative for more information on these July rate increases and how you can lower your postage costs through commingling and other logistics strategies.

USPS Promotions Offer Significant Postage Discounts

You can save even more on postage costs by taking advantage of USPS Promotions postage discounts.

The 2024 USPS Promotions Calendar outlines the many opportunities available. Tactile, Sensory and Interactive (promotion period February 1 – July 31) and Informed Delivery (promotion period August 1 – December 31) continue to be the most popular promotions with our nonprofit clients.

The PMG team manages both the package approval process and the postal discount process, making it easier for you to participate in these promotions. We can even help you stack promotions resulting in deeper cost savings. PMG’s Senior Specialist of Mail Design & Postal Procedures Leigh Ann Doyle is a dedicated resource for our production team and clients to help navigate the many steps involved in these programs.

All nonprofit mailers, both large and small, should take advantage of USPS Promotions to save money on postage, one of the largest line items in direct mail budgets. Larger mailers have seen six-figure savings in their annual postage budgets through USPS Promotions discounts. Plus, the additional digital touchpoints of Informed Delivery and various Tactile, Sensory and Interactive techniques enhance the value of your campaigns, driving better results.

Paper Cost Increases

Major paper mills have announced paper cost increases of approximately 5 – 7% effective April 2024, according to our key suppliers. Mill consolidation, fluctuating supply and demand, and repurposing facilities for manufacturing packaging products are driving the cost increases.

A 5% increase in the cost of paper typically translates into a 2-2.5% increase in the cost of an envelope, letter or insert. The PMG team is closely monitoring the situation and is working with our supplier-partners to help mitigate these increases when possible. Please contact your PMG Production Manager to review any impacts on your upcoming campaigns and overall program.

Direct Mail is Environmentally Sustainable

Nonprofits are under increasing pressure to be more sustainable across their entire organizations, including improving the environmental impact of their direct marketing programs.

The “Sustainability in Direct Mail Fundraising” session at the TNPA/DMAW Nonprofit Fundraisers Symposium in March addressed this concern, with expert insights from Jules VanSant, Executive Director of Two Sides North America, Joel Kaufman of DCG ONE East and John Stancik of Grantmail Direct Marketing.

Key takeaways:

  • Paper is made from an infinitely renewable resource – trees that are purpose-grown, harvested and re-grown in sustainably managed forests – or from recycled paper.
  • Paper can be recycled 5-7 times. Repeated collecting, cleaning, de-inking and bleaching eventually weakens the fibers to the point they can’t bond into new paper, so they must be replaced with virgin fiber, grown from responsibly managed forests.
  • More than 2/3 of paper and paper-based packaging gets recycled… more than any other material. The lifecycle of paper is already circular, minimizing resource use, carbon emissions and waste.

Most direct mail production suppliers:

  • Embrace environmental stewardship policies and industry certifications
  • Are committed to ongoing investments in sustainably sourced paper, inks and other inputs, sourcing premiums made from recycled materials, as well as sustainable supply chains and logistics.
  • Have extensive recycling programs throughout their operations: paper, inks, printing plates, scrap metal, corrugate/packaging, and skids; use refurbished equipment and practice energy conservation measures in their facilities.

Sustainability Reporting

Promote your direct mail program by providing sustainability reporting to your leadership and stakeholders including:

  • Sustainability efforts within your programs and with your key supplier-partners.
  • Recommendations on ways to reduce waste without negatively impacting performance.
  • Printing and mailing industry sustainability trends, innovations and investments for the future.
  • Share the truth about sustainability in the paper and printing industry. Two Sides, North America provides research and fact-based data to substantiate the sustainability of the forestry and paper products in North America. For fact sheets, educational materials and other resources to share, visit

PMG is here to help you with your sustainability goals and reporting! Contact your PMG Production Manager to discuss your needs and PMG’s sustainability initiatives.