Direct mail
 min read

Does Metered Mail Have a Different Result vs Stamped Mail?

When you're looking to get more sales, build customer loyalty, or gain reviews, direct mail can help you achieve these goals. This is because, unlike emails or phone calls, direct mail is different. And due to its personability and uncommon use, direct mail also enables you to separate yourself from the competition.

In today's hyper-digital age, businesses are constantly looking for avenues to drive sales, foster loyalty, and garner reviews. While digital platforms offer wide reach, direct mail stands out due to its tangibility and the personal touch it conveys, making it an underrated tool in a marketer's arsenal. According to a study, direct mail enjoys a response rate of up to 4.4%, compared to a mere 0.12% for email. Clearly, direct mail outperforms the alternative outreach methods.

This elevated engagement is unsurprising. After all, in the deluge of digital notifications, a tactile piece of mail, thoughtfully curated and sent, can truly differentiate a brand from its competitors.

Now, as businesses delve into direct mail, an essential decision awaits: should you opt for metered or stamped mail? While both are prevalent, they serve distinct purposes and resonate differently with recipients.

Metered mail, often associated with bulk correspondence, offers efficiency. However, it sometimes runs the risk of being perceived as impersonal or 'junk,' potentially leading to its disposal without thorough engagement. On the flip side, stamped mail, with the intimate touch of a real stamp, often signals a more tailored, genuine communication.

So, when choosing between the two, it's essential to weigh the impressions you wish to create and the goals you aim to achieve. Dive deeper with us as we explore the nuances of both, enabling your business to craft a more informed, effective direct mail strategy.

Also Read: How you can utilize direct mail to increase customer retention 


Recap: What is metered mail? 

Metered mail is a prepaid mailing method that forgoes the traditional adhesive stamps in favor of markings from an electronic machine. Governed and sanctioned by the post office, this machine, commonly known as a postage meter, is often leased either directly from the post office or its affiliates. It efficiently prints the precise postage directly onto the mail pieces, simplifying the process for frequent mailers.

Recap: What is stamped mail? 

Stamped mail is characterized by the use of traditional paper postage stamps affixed to the mail pieces. When using these stamps, the postage cost is inherently covered by the value of the stamps themselves. Contrary to methods like metered mail, stamped mail does not rely on any electronic equipment or machines. It's a straightforward, tangible approach to paying for postage, often favored for its simplicity and ubiquity.

What is the difference between Metered Mail and Stamped Mail? 

While both metered and stamped mail serve as methods to pay for postage, they each carry unique characteristics and applications. Delving into these differences can help businesses make informed mailing decisions.


1. Cost Efficiency

a) Metered Mail: With metered mail, the post office often provides discounts based on the weight and volume of mail, leading to potentially more accurate and cost-effective pricing. However, it's worth noting that there's a recurring cost for renting or leasing the postage meter machine.

b) Stamped Mail: On the flip side, while stamped mail doesn’t offer volume-based discounts, it does eliminate the need to pay for metering equipment. This can be a more straightforward approach for those looking to avoid additional overheads.

2. Convenience

a) Metered Mail: One of the standout advantages of metered mail is its convenience. By printing the postage directly onto mail pieces, businesses save valuable time that would otherwise be spent manually affixing stamps.

b) Stamped Mail: While it requires manual stamping, stamped mail requires no machinery or electronic process, making it a fuss-free choice for many, especially those who send out mail occasionally or in smaller volumes.

3. Use Cases

a) Metered Mail: Typically preferred by high-volume senders, metered mail is often the go-to choice for businesses that regularly engage in large-scale mailing campaigns or daily correspondences.

b) Stamped Mail: This method is particularly favored by organizations or individuals that don’t send mail in large quantities. Its straightforward nature makes it ideal for occasional senders who prefer a simple and tangible postage method.

4. Impact on Sales and Marketing

While both methods are tools for mailing, they can bring different results when integrated into sales or marketing strategies. It's essential to consider the frequency, volume, and purpose of your mailings when deciding which method aligns best with your goals.

Examining Metered Mail: Advantages and Drawbacks

Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of metered mail for businesses to determine if metered mail is the optimal choice for their operations.


a) Time and Cost Savings: For businesses that frequently send out mail, metered mail can offer substantial time and financial benefits. There's no more need to visit the post office repeatedly, and the precision of postage meters ensures you pay only for the exact postage required.

b) Efficiency: The convenience of printing postage directly from your location streamlines the mailing process, reducing the man-hours involved in preparing large mail batches.

c) Accurate Postage: Metered mail takes out the guesswork, ensuring that each mail piece has the correct postage. This avoids issues of underpayment or overpayment, which could lead to mail returns or extra expenses.

d) Expenditure Monitoring: Many postage meters allow businesses to track their postage expenditure with ease, aiding in budgeting and financial management.


a) Lease or Rental Costs: One can't purchase a postage meter outright due to legal restrictions. Thus, businesses must shoulder an ongoing lease or rental fee, which can add up over time.

b) Additional Fees: Beyond the lease or rental costs, there's also the consideration of certain annual fees, such as presorting fees, which can increase the overall cost of using metered mail.

c) Maintenance: Having an additional piece of equipment means potential maintenance needs and concerns about the device's longevity and functionality.

Examining Stamped Mail: Advantages and Drawbacks

Let’s look at some pros and cons of stamped mail for businesses to determine if stamped mail is the optimal choice for their operations.


a) Simplicity: The foremost advantage of stamped mail is its sheer simplicity. There's no need to fuss with machines or complex calculations; you simply affix the stamp and send your mail on its way.

b) Accessibility: Stamps are widely available, whether you're purchasing them locally at a post office or ordering them online. Their ubiquity ensures you're never too far from a postage solution.

c) No Equipment Hassles: Without the need for a postage meter, you avoid the associated costs, maintenance, and potential learning curve.

d) Flexibility: Whether sending a single letter or a batch of mail, stamps offer flexibility without any setup or preparation time.


a) Potential Overpayment: Fixed-value stamps can sometimes lead to overpayment, especially when senders are unsure of the exact weight and end up using extra stamps just to be sure.

b) Missed Discounts: Businesses using stamped mail don't benefit from the potentially lower commercial rates available to metered mail users.

c) Expense Tracking: Managing expenses can be a challenge. Without a systematic approach, it's easy to lose track of how many stamps are used and their total cost, especially when using various denominations.

d) Time Consumption: Regular trips to purchase stamps or waiting for online orders to arrive can add up in terms of time, especially for businesses that send mail frequently.

In essence, stamped mail offers an uncomplicated, straightforward method of sending items, especially suitable for occasional senders or smaller businesses. However, larger entities or frequent mailers might find its limitations in terms of cost-efficiency and tracking to be restrictive. Evaluating the specific needs and volume of mail sent by a business is crucial in determining if stamped mail is the right choice.

With metered mail, you may get discounts and more accurate pricing from the post office based on the weight and volume of mail. Also, metered mail may provide you with higher levels of convenience because it prints the postage on the mail for you, allowing you to save time from having to put the stamp on yourself. Lastly, its use case is going to be different because with metered mail it’s normally used for a high volume sender.

But with stamped mail, you won’t need to pay to lease metering equipment and you don’t have to add a new process to sending anything out.. For organizations that don’t send a lot of mail, this the way they usually go.

If you need another resource that’ll explain these differences further, look at this article by bizfulent that highlights the Differences Between Metered and Stamped Mail.

When it comes to comparing metered mail and stamped mail, you may be wondering if these mailing methods bring in different results with sales or marketing efforts. And the answer is, yes, they do bring different results for your business.

Does Metered Mail have a different result vs Stamped Mail?


When comparing both metered and stamped mail they bring in different results due to the costs, levels of convenience, and use cases. Further, they’re also perceived differently by the recipient. Metered mail might save you time because you can print a label right on the mail piece. But with stamped mail, you may have higher levels of convenience because you won’t need to learn new equipment.

Depending on what you’re measuring overall, both of these types of mail will give you different results. But if you're deciding between going the metered or stamped mail route you’ll probably wonder which one is the best to use. At IgnitePost we (almost always) use stamped mail.

The Unrivaled Benefits of Opting for Stamped Mail over Metered Mail

Stamped mail offers a touch of personalization and traditional charm that metered mail often lacks. Here’s why many businesses prefer this approach despite the modernization of mailing techniques: 


1. Ease of Use

Choosing stamped mail means embracing simplicity. This traditional form of postage involves just one straightforward step: affixing a paper stamp to your mail. Without the need to handle any machinery or troubleshoot technical issues that might arise with a postage meter, many find using stamped mail to be a significantly more convenient option. It's a hassle-free choice, especially if your mailing volume isn't exceedingly high.

2. Positive Reception

Stamped mail often evokes a warmer, more personal reception compared to metered mail. Since it carries a tangible stamp, it adds a human touch to your mail, creating a positive first impression when it lands in the recipient's hands. This approach can potentially translate to higher open rates and better engagement, setting a friendly, approachable tone right from the start.

3. Escaping the Junk Mail Stigma

Let's face it: many of us associate metered mail with junk or promotional mail, which can often be relegated to the trash bin without a second glance. Stamped mail, however, tends to escape this stigma. Its traditional, personal touch often earns it a second look, increasing the likelihood that your mail will not only be opened but also read and engaged with.

4. Promoting Engagement

The inherent personal touch of stamped mail generally promotes higher levels of engagement from recipients. Its familiar and warm appearance could make it far more enticing, encouraging recipients to open and interact with the contents rather than dismissing it as another piece of junk mail.

5. Optimizing the Process

While it is true that affixing stamps is generally a manual process, there are strategies to expedite it without sacrificing the personal touch that stamped mail offers. Stay tuned as we explore efficient ways to integrate stamped mail into your mailing strategy effectively.

In recognizing the simplicity and personal connection that stamped mail fosters, it stands as a highly viable option, especially for mailers looking to establish a warm, positive rapport with their recipients. It's an option steeped in tradition, offering a personable touch in a digital age.

Optimize Your Stamped Mail Process with IgnitePost

Venturing into the world of stamped mail may appear daunting due to the manual intricacies it entails. The potential drain on time and resources is often a concern for many businesses. This is where IgnitePost steps in as a game-changer.

At IgnitePost, we've streamlined the stamped mail process to ensure efficiency without compromising on the personal touch. Our platform is designed to handle the entire process on your behalf. There's no need for you to grapple with new equipment or complicated systems. Simply input your message into our user-friendly platform, click send, and let us manage the rest. And for those leveraging our integrations with Zapier and Shopify, it's even more hassle-free.

But it's not just about ease; it's about authenticity. IgnitePost doesn't just send mail – we craft personalized handwritten notes that resonate with your audience. Our goal is to merge the efficacy of traditional communication with modern efficiency.

Budgetary concerns? Our prepaid solutions ensure that cost-effectiveness remains at the forefront. So, when considering the optimal approach for direct mail, partnering with IgnitePost provides a potent blend of authenticity, affordability, and agility. Whatever your direct mail objective, we’re here to ensure it’s achieved seamlessly.

Contact us today to get started!


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is metered mail vs. stamped mail? 

Metered mail uses an electronic machine to print postage directly on mail items, eliminating the need for traditional stamps. Stamped mail, on the other hand, employs paper postage stamps, which are affixed to mail pieces.

2. Is metered mail cheaper than stamps? 

Often, metered mail offers discounts based on mail volume and weight, potentially making it cost-effective for high-volume senders compared to the fixed price of individual stamps.

3. Is metered mail faster? 

Metered mail can expedite the mailing process for bulk senders since it automates postage printing, eliminating manual stamp affixing. However, delivery speed post-sending remains consistent with stamped mail.

4. What is a stamped letter considered?

A stamped letter is regarded as a piece of mail that carries a paper postage stamp, symbolizing payment for its transit through the postal system. It's seen as a more traditional and personal form of sending mail.

IgnitePOST Team
Verified writer

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