First Class vs Standard Stamps: Choosing Postage for Handwritten Envelopes

Dave Schaaf
Dave Schaaf

As you begin to prepare your direct mail campaign, you will need to decide which type of postage you would like to use. So what’s the difference between First Class and Standard Postage?

Both First Class stamps AND Standard stamps are sticky stamps that we affix to the handwritten envelopes. However, there are some unique differences between these two postage types and how they can affect your campaign.

Here are some of the main differences:

First Class Postage


  • Typically delivered within a 1-5 days (Great for time sensitive letters).
  • They are postmarked, which can give your letter more credibility when mailed from a local address.
  • There are several seasonal style options available depending on the time of year.
  • Return mail is guaranteed.


  • Envelopes with First Class stamps are postmarked from the location they are mailed. That means if we mail your letters from our location, your handwritten envelopes will have a Wisconsin postmark. However, we can also ship the completed letters to you to mail from your location, so the postmark would be local for the most authentic appearance.
  • First Class stamps are more expensive than Standard stamps, (almost double the postage cost).

Standard Postage


  • Envelopes are not postmarked using Standard Postage! Recipients will think they were mailed from your return address.
  • Precancelled Stamps retain the personal appearance of mailing the letter to your recipient yourself.
  • Standard Postage is about 25¢ cheaper than First Class which will save you some serious money.


  • Letters mailed with Standard postage can take longer to arrive than letters mailed with First Class postage. The Post Office provides a delivery timeline of between 3-30 days. However, we generally see them landing within a week.
  • Standard Postage Stamps require a permit, so you must either apply for a Permit at your local Post Office, or you can have a mail service such as Yellow Letters Complete mail out for you.
  • All presorted mailings need to have a barcode and other markings printed on the envelope.
  • Return mail is not guaranteed. Typically we see that you will receive some of the return mail, but there may be more that the Postal Service just throws away without delivering back to you.

Standard and First Class postage are both great options for your campaign, so it comes down to what your preferences are, and if your message is time sensitive. Both of these options will get your letter where it needs to be, and they will both get you results!

For more information, watch the video below:


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