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Outgoing or outbound mail involves the preparation, metering, presorting and delivery of mail to the United States Post Office (USPS), satellite sites and Santa Monica-Malibu Unified.

The tabs below will assist you in familiarizing yourself with:
  • How to properly prepare outgoing mail.
  • Learn about the USPS Classes of Mail.
  • Available templates to assist you in designing your mail piece.
  • Services to clean and update your address list data to ensure it is delivered and help qualify mailings for the lowest postage rates.

​​​​​If you have any questions or require assistance, please contact our Mailroom at (310) 434-4437 or email us at dept_mailrooom@smc.edu.

The information provided on this page is provided to assist you with your mailing needs, but if you have specific requirements or require additional assistance, please contact the Mailroom.​​​​

   1​ Pre​paring Mail

Preparing Mail

  • Do not print any words or graphics in the read area of the mail piece (Please see template for mail positioning.)
  • All self mailers must be tabbed, NO STAPLES.
  • All designs should be checked by the mail room department BEFORE PRINTING to avoid costly surcharges and extra expenses by USPS.

Template for Mail Positioning

Template for Mail Positioning

Format Elements of a Mail Piece

format elements of a mail piece

  1. Always use a return address - if the letter is undeliverable, it can be returned.
  2. Endorsements are placed above and to the left of the delivery address (2 lines below return address). This is optional for non-profit mail.
  3. Name and/or "Attention:" line. Print or type delivery address clearly in center of envelope (Use 10, 12, 14 pts. for best readability).
  4. First and foremost, the endorsement should be clear and legible:
    • Use all caps, spaces between words, no punctuation, and left justify the margin.
    • The color contrast between the endorsement and the mail piece background must be kept at a reasonable degree. A brilliant colored background or reverse printing is not permitted for automation discounts. Pieces prepared in this manner will require slower, manual processing.
  5. Always use applicable directional in address (e.g., "N" for north and "S" for south).
  6. Always use applicable abbreviated locators in address (e.g., APT, ST, AVE).
  7. Always include applicable RM (Room), FL (Floor), STE (Suite), or APT (Apartment) # on same line as (and after) street address (preferred), or on the line above the street address.
  8. Use two letter state abbreviations in address block.
  9. Use a ZIP+4® ZIP Code™ (if known) on last line following city and state. Otherwise, use the ZIP Code.
  10. This is the barcode area; if you do not have a program that calculates and prints the correct barcode, then leave this area blank.
  11. Postage is placed in upper right corner.

If you have any questions, please contact the mailroom at extension 4437.

   2 Classes of Mail

U.S.P.S Classes of Mail

Types of Mail​
  • Express mail
  • Certified mail
  • First Class
  • Presort Non-profit


Express Mail

Express Mail

Express Mail® is the Postal Service's premium service. It provides reliable, expedited mail delivery overnight or on the second day. Express Mail is:

  • Insurable and trace-able.
  • Delivered 365 days a year to most destinations.
  • Offered with a money back guarantee.
  • Insured for $100.00 at no extra cost. 

Flat-Rate envelopes and Flat-Rate boxes are available from the Postal Service®. Any amount of material that will fit in these containers, without reconfiguring the packaging or exceeding 70 pounds, will ship at the Flat-Rate prices.

First Class Mail

First-Class Mail

These items are required to be sent as First-Class Mail®:

  • Anything that is handwritten.
  • Anything that is typewritten.
  • Bills and statements of account.
  • Anything containing personal information.
  • Items that are sealed or otherwise closed against postal inspection.
    Note: Business Reply Mail® (BRM) is First-Class Mail.
  • Periodicals
    • Publishers and registered news agents must be authorized by the USPS to mail newspapers, newsletters, magazines, etc., at the Periodicals prices.
    • The primary purpose of a Periodicals publication must be the transmission of information.
    • There is a nonrefundable application fee that is paid when the application is submitted.
    • An Identification (ID) Statement must be present in all issues and serves as evidence of postage payment.
Standard Mail

Standard Mail
  • Standard Mail consists of mail-able matter that is not required to be mailed as First-Class Mail or Periodicals. Standard Mail must weigh less than 16 ounces. Standard Mail is not sealed against inspection.
  • To obtain discounted prices for Standard Mail, mailers must update their mailing list within 95 days before a mailing, using one of the USPS approved Move Update methods.
Non-profit Mail

  • Non-profit is a subclass of Standard Mail. Preparation standards are the same for both nonprofit and regular Standard Mail mailings.
  • Nonprofit prices are a privilege reserved, by law, to authorized nonprofit organizations. Authorized organizations may mail only their own material at the nonprofit prices. Authorized organizations must not send matter on behalf of, or produced for, an unauthorized entity.
  • Eligible organizations include: Religious, Scientific, Veterans, Philanthropic, Labor, Educational, Agricultural, Fraternal, Qualified Political Committees (Restricted), and Voting Registration Officials (Restricted).
  • Organizations that are ineligible for nonprofit prices include: Automobile Clubs, Business Leagues, Chambers of Commerce, Citizen's and Civic Improvement Associations, and Individuals.
  • The authorized nonprofit organization must be identified on the mail piece. The identification must be shown either on the outside or in a prominent location on the material being mailed. If the piece bears any name and return address, it must be that of the authorized organization.
  • A cooperative mailing is mail that is produced by an authorized organization that cooperates with one or more organizations to share the cost, risk, or benefit of the mailing. To qualify for nonprofit prices, all of the cooperating organizations must be authorized to mail at nonprofit prices at the post office of mailing.
  • Package Services
      There are four subclasses of Package Services:
      • Parcel Post®
      • Bound Printed Matter
      • Media Mail
      • Library Mail

Ma​il pieces sent at Package Services prices are not sealed against Postal inspection.​​

   3 Templates

Brochure, Newsletter, and Postcard Templates

It is highly recommended that you contact the Mail Room Department early in the planning stages of a new mailing so that we can ensure that the correct procedures are followed in preparing your mailing. Please notify the mailroom staff at least two weeks prior to placing your order for print.

All designs should be pre-approved by our mailroom staff BEFORE PRINTING to avoid costly surcharges and extra expenses by USPS. Please forward your Bulk Mail Work Order FormBulk Mail Work Order Form​ and attach your artwork, e-mail: dept_mailroom@smc.edu.

Some limitations apply to the type of artwork background of your mailpiece. Please do not use a dark background. Please review the specifications below and print area guides for each type of mailing.

Paper Specs

    4 Address List Clean Up

Address List Clean-Up

Our mailroom staff can assist you with "cleaning-up” a mass mailing list to help you make sure your mail piece is delivered. Some of the services provided include:

  • Address Validation
  • Eliminating duplicates
  • Formatting
  • Minimizing Return Mail
3 Easy Steps
  • Contact the mailroom to coordinate your mailing
  • Submit your order form 
  • Send your list to dept_mailroom@smc.edu

*Excel files are preferred.

Address Validation with CASS Certification

CASS is an acronym that stands for Coding Accuracy Support System. CASS is a certification system from the USPS for software that processes mailing lists. It is designed to improve the accuracy of delivery. Our software verifies that the address is valid, standardized, and able to meet mail industry requirements to qualify for bulk mail discounts. 

Duplicate Detection

Our software is able to detect duplicate records and export the list to determine which record is to be kept or not included. 

Real-Time Move Update Service

Our software also allows your mailing list to be matched to the NCOAlink (National Change of Address) database, to receive the new address and imporve deliveribility. 

Turn Around time?

48 hours from time of receipt.

How much will your department be charged by the Mailroom?

This service is FREE of charge to your department.

How do I get started?
  1. Email your Excel file to : dept_mailroom@smc.edu
  2. Contact: Rick / Rudy @x4477.

Be sure to visit our website at www.smc.edu/mailroom for information on all your mailing needs.

Address Cleansing Disclaimer

The address cleansing service is provided by the Mailroom staff at no charge to the campus. We make every effort to ensure this service is always available, but please notify our mailroom staff early in the planning stages to schedule a timely delivery. USPS mailing standards apply to all deliveries.