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Intelligent Mail® barcode (IMb)

Green incentive to economize your mailing system


The Intelligent Mail barcode is the result of the Postal Service’s efforts to develop more robust codes capable of encoding more information, while minimizing the space used on the mailpiece. The Intelligent Mail barcode offers:

  • Continue earning lowest postal rates
  • Better customer intelligence
  • Free Address Change Service
  • Visibility into the mailstream
  • More effective returned mail processing
  • Better scan rates and improved deliverability
  • Better looking mail pieces (fewer barcodes)
  • Delivery ConfirmationTM
  • Access to new services

Facts about the INTELLIGENT MAIL® barcode (IMb)

To obtain the lowest automation prices on Letters and Flats, mailers must use the 65-bar Intelligent Mail® barcode on each mail piece, encoding the delivery point information plus four new fields including an assigned Mailer ID, the class of mail, an optional endorsement line, plus a mail piece sequence number that must remain unique for 45 days.

New 24-digit tray barcodes and 21-digit container barcodes.

Electronic documentation using Mail.dat,®Wizard Web Services or Postage Statement Wizard® will be required for the full-service option.

Must acquire Mailer ID number(s) from the Postal Service, encode all data into the barcode components and then graphically render this barcode on every mail piece, tray and container.

For more facts and information about implementing IMb, go to our IMb Solution Resource for the more detail or
Give us a call at 800-854-8324.



NCOALink® is in the Green!

Intelligent Mail barcode specifications eco-friendly space saving will also put more cash back in your pocket with financial incentives.

Did you know that six million trees and more than 300 million pounds of paper are wasted each year on undeliverable-as-addressed mail (UAA) Standard class mail? It costs the USPS over two billion dollars annually to process this true “junk mail”. And the cost to mailers is even more dramatic – UAA mail costs direct mailers over six billion dollars a year.

The USPS provides postal discounts for mailers that meet Move Update standards by keeping their lists up-to-date with current addresses. Authorized methods to meet Move Update standards include: NCOALink® processing, FASTforward® processing (letter mail only), and Address Change of Service (ACS™). The USPS maintains a database with approximately 160 million records or 48 months of permanent address changes. It’s called the NCOALink® product. You can submit your mailing list or database records to USPS approved vendors for NCOALink® processing to match your addresses to the change-of-address records on file with the USPS.

Since 1986, when the USPS introduced the product, NCOALink® has saved mailers billions of dollars that otherwise would have been wasted in paper, postage, and labor costs. NCOALink® processing your mailing list before mailing can have a significant impact on the ROI for a direct mail campaign. Let’s take an example of a 100,000 piece mailing at bulk rate with a total cost of $0.50 per piece. For this example let’s say that the mailing will generate a 1.5 percent response rate and $50 in average sales.

So, is Postmaster General Jack Potter’s call to reduce UAA mail by 50 percent by 2010 a green initiative designed to help decrease global warming and unnecessary environmental waste?

Absolutely. But it’s also a common sense business initiative that will save both the USPS® and mailers a tremendous amount of money – money better spent on job creation, product development, and effective marketing.

What is IMB?


540-949-7266 (Phone)

888-970-9944 (Toll-free)

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