Categories: Direct Mail Production
If you are utilizing folded self-mailers in your direct mail campaign, you’ll want to check out the new standards the United States Postal Service will implement in January. Failing to be compliant with these new requirements will cost you non-machinable postage rates. This could double your postage costs.
- In order to receive letter size Automation or machinable discounts, your folded self-mailer cannot exceed 6” x 10 ½”. Previously your self-mailer could be, 6 1/8” x 11 1/2”. You’ll want to check your existing designs to ensure you’ll receive the same postal discounts starting in January 2013.
- Your folded self-mailer must be printed on a minimum of 70lb text stock. If the folded self-mailer is over 1 ounce the paper weight must be a minimum of 80lb text stock.
- If your folded self-mailer has more than two panels, then your address panel cannot contain an open edge; it must be one of the center panels, where both sides are folded.
- The USPS will also update their regulations on self-mailer tabs. Perforated tabs have been discontinued and the amount of tabs needed to close the self-mailer will vary based on the weight of the self-mailer. Please consult with your mailer for more information.
The USPS has created NEW terminology when talking about non-bound, folded self-mailers. We’ve provided definitions below that you may find useful:
“Basic Folded SM” - 1 or multiple loose sheets of paper folded together, unbound, with the final fold on the bottom or lead edge. The panel minimum is 2 and the panel maximum is 12.
“Quarter-Fold Folded SM” – 1 or multiple loose sheets of paper folded together, unbound, with perpendicular folds, an example of this would be an 11 x 17, 4page/1 sheet, folded to a #10. The panel minimum is 4 and the panel maximum is 12.
“Panels” – created when loose sheet or sheets of paper are folded; each folded section of a sheet is a separate panel.
Examples of folded self-mailers and their number of panels are below:
- 2 panels – A single sheet folded in half.
- 3 Panels – A single sheet folded twice.
- 4 Panels – Two nested loose sheets folded once in half, one sheet folded three times or one sheet quarter folded; two folds perpendicular