Preparing Mail for Processing

Contact the Samford post office five business days before you intend to deliver your bulk mail pieces to the post office for processing. The post office will work with you at this time to determine the best options for each mailing.

Bulk mail requires a completed bulk mail work order form prior to processing. Pieces must be tabbed, stuffed and sealed prior to processing. Nonautomated pieces must have printed addresses in ascending ZIP code order. Automated pieces must have an electronic data file (Excel) provided by the client.

Quantities and Processing Time

The Samford Post Office can process most jobs within three to five business days. Limited staff and equipment require additional time to handle simultaneous orders.

USPS minimum 200 pieces

Samford Post Office maximum (no maximum for USPS)

  • 20,000 postcards (processed within three business days)
  • 20,000 letters (processed within five business days)
  • 10,000 flats (processed within five business days)

Types of Paper Stock and Processing Time

Samford Post Office can process pieces printed on uncoated paper stock or coated paper stock. Please note that processing time is slower on coated paper because it must be run through the machinery at a slower rate.

Types of Bulk Mail


Minimum dimensions 5 x 3.5, 0.007" thick

Maximum dimensions 6 x 4.25, 0.016" thick


Minimum dimensions 5 x 3.5, 0.009" thick

Maximum dimensions 11.5 x 6.125, .25" thick

Must be stuffed and sealed


(large envelopes, some newsletters or booklets)

Anything that exceeds any one or more letter dimensions but falls under maximum dimensions (such as 8 x 10)

Minimum dimensions 11.5 x 6.125, .25" thick

Maximum dimensions 15 x 12, .75" thick


Must be tabbed correctly

Could mail as a letter or a flat, depending on dimensions

Nonprofit and First Class Pricing

Costs per Piece (weighing up to 3.3 ounces)
Piece Nonprofit Automated Nonprofit Nonautomated Standard Automated Standard Nonautomated
Postcard N/A N/A N/A N/A
Letter .169 .172 .27 .273
Flat .362 .424 .496 .558
Costs per Piece (weighing up to 1 ounce)
Piece First Class Presorted Automated First Class Presorted Nonautomated First Class Full Rate
Postcard .23 .245 .28
Letter .382 .414 .44
Flat .725 .757 .88

Automated vs. Nonautomated


  • Processed by the Samford Post Office with an electronic data file provided by the client
  • Each piece is printed with a ZIP+4 and barcode
  • Cheapest option


  • Client provides pieces with printed labels in ZIP code order to the Samford Post Office
  • Client must provide exact count of all pieces
  • Not as cheap as automated

Electronic Data Files

Must meet USPS requirements with National Change of Address (NCOA) certification. Lists from the Office of Advancement (alumni and friends) already meet these requirements. The Samford post office can provide NCOA certification for other lists if needed.

Must be provided in Excel via e-mail or on disk

Each column must contain only one data point: Prefix First Name Last Name Suffix Address1 Address2 City State ZIP

Bulk Mail Indicias

Indicias must be preprinted on each piece in the top right corner of the mail panel; the Samford Post Office cannot print these. If you haven’t preprinted an indicia, you may borrow a rubber stamp to add the indicia to each piece by hand from Samford’s post office (ink pad not included).

Two indicias are available:

nonprofit indicia

Nonprofit Indicia

  • Cheapest option
  • Use this in almost all cases
  • USPS does not guarantee delivery times for any type of delivery other than express mail. In general, nonprofit mail takes five to 21 days to be delivered once the USPS receives it.
  • No individualized, personal handwriting
  • No individualized information other than address and salutation
  • No bills or billing information
  • No SSN or account numbers
  • Must be related to a Samford University function
presorted standard indicia

Presorted Standard Indicia

  • Not as cheap as nonprofit
  • Use when advertising (offering something in return for payment)
  • Use for for-profit events (such as athletics camps)
  • USPS does not guarantee delivery times for any type of delivery other than express mail. In general, presorted standard mail takes five to 21 days to be delivered once the USPS receives it.

Return Address

return addressesMust be included in the top left corner of the mail panel and contain all of the following information:

Samford University
800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, AL 35229

An office or department name may be added below the Samford logo. Without the Samford logo, the office or department name may be the first line. The logo may be downloaded from the Office of Marketing and Communication website.



The Samford Print Shop can provide tabbing services.

Multipage pieces not in envelopes must be tabbed. Flats do not have to be tabbed. Double tabs on horizontal pieces must be at the top, not bottom, edge for automated mailing.

Pieces with an open side, top and bottom must be tabbed at each open edge for automated mailing. Any letter-sized stitched piece must be double tabbed.