Machinable – Non-Machinable – Non-Mailable 

These are 3 words that everyone should know if a mailing is planned.

Machinable means that the mail piece can run through high-speed sortation equipment, thereby insuring the lowest postal rates will be possible.

Non-Machinable means that the mail piece cannot run through any type of postal machinery and must be sorted by hand; a slow, expensive, and tedious process.

Non-Mailable means that the piece will not be processed by the post office under any circumstance for delivery. For example, you cannot put an address on a baseball or Kleenex, put it into a mailbox, and expect it to be delivered.

Postal rates are determined by a lot of factors but these breakouts are the most basic. A machinable piece of mail gives you the opportunity to take advantage of the best postal discounts, insuring that you will pay the least to get your mail from point A to point B.

If your mail piece falls out of the machinable category, and there are many reasons why this might happen, you can expect to pay double or triple the postage. We corrected a design flaw for one mailing whereby the postage went from $1,881 for the machinable piece to $4,362 for the non-machinable piece – a difference of almost $2,500. Fortunately, we caught the problem before the flyer was printed.

The one category you want to avoid altogether is the non-mailable one. You will have to rethink your design and completely redo.

To avoid problems always have your mail piece reviewed before printing by a professional mailer, preferably by us here at

Want more helpful mailing tips? Visit the Do-Good Blog for the latest news and info regarding the post office rules, stamps, etc.