Direct Mail Lingo: What is an Indicia?

Indicia Examples

In the realm of direct mail, an Indicia (pronounced
in-DEE-shuh) is an imprint on each mail piece that signifies the postage has been prepaid.

A postal Indicia takes the place of a stamp or postage meter imprint and is generally printed directly on the pieces to be mailed. This saves the time and expense of applying postage manually.

By Permit Only

Using an Indicia requires a postal permit. If you use a mail house for your direct mail campaign, you can usually use its permit number for your Indicia instead of having to secure your own permit. Your graphic designer may incorporate the Indicia into the original artwork file of your mailer or sometimes your printer inserts the Indicia into the artwork file before the pieces are printed.

Bear in mind that an Indicia is used for mail sent out in batches, such as 200 or 500 pieces at a time. It is not used for mailing pieces individually. A printed Indicia on each piece tells the post office that the postage has already been paid for and thus a postage stamp is not required.

Placement and Format

The postal service requires a mail Indicia to be printed in the upper right corner from the delivery address (where the postage would normally be placed). But unlike a stamp, the post office does not have to apply a cancel imprint across an Indicia.

It is also important to note that the postal service has specific rules regarding the use of an Indicia. An Indicia must contain certain information and be formatted in a certain way. Also, your mailing must be processed by the post office that issued the permit. You can read the postal rules governing Indicia use by clicking here.

If you have any additional questions about using an Indicia or need any guidance about printing or direct mail, give Formax a call. We can make your next direct mail campaign easier than you ever imagined!

Take care!  Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include full-color printing, all types of softcover books, laminated printing, plus fulfillment and mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 314-434-5500 or 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services for over 30 years.

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