Postal Rules Are Changing… Again.

 With the rising cost of postage and sometimes confusing rules, it’s easy to understand why many are opting for cheaper, do-it-yourself methods like email for marketing. Unfortunately for those that do, they are missing out on what direct mail can offer their clients and prospects. With the recent announcement of the US postal Service “2nd oz free” program, your local post office is doing more than ever to help you get the most out of your marketing. By taking advantage of offers like this and using a trusted direct mail house to help you navigate postal rules, it can still be cost effective and easy to use the one medium that still offers the highest response rates around.

Below you will find some updates on what will be happening with one of the most commonly mailed pieces, the folded self mailer.

Postal Changes, January 5, 2013: Folded Self Mailers (FSM)

•          Length: A minimum of 5 inches and a maximum of 10 1/2 inches.

•          Height: A minimum of 3 1/2 inches and a maximum of 6 inches.

•          Thickness: A minimum of 0.007 inch; (0.009 inch if the height exceeds 4 1/4 inches or if the length exceeds 6 inches); the maximum thickness is 1/4 inch.

•          Maximum Weight: 3 ounces.

•          Rectangular, with four square corners and parallel opposite sides.

•          Within an aspect ratio (length divided by height) of 1.3 to 2.5, inclusive.

•          Maximum number of panels, bi-fold, tri-fold and oblongs: 12 for FSM’s constructed of non-newsprint paper.

•          Exception: Quarter folded self-mailers made of a minimum of 100 lb book grade paper may have 4 panels and those made of 55 lb newsprint must have at least 8 panels and may contain up to 24 panels.

•          The final fold must be on the bottom, for oblong pieces, the final fold is on the leading edge.

•          New language added about glue as a sealing method. New language added about a variety of optional elements that can be incorporated in the FSM design such as attachments, loose enclosures, perforations, and die-cuts.

Postal Changes, January 5, 2013: FSM Tabbing requirements

•          Pieces up to 1oz require 2 tabs at 1″ dia.

•           Pieces over 1oz require 2 tabs at 1-1/2″ dia.

•           Mailers can no longer use tabs with perforations.

•           No tabs on the bottom panel.

•           All Folded Self Mailers now require a minimum of two tabs.

•          Tabs can be positioned in 2 places, as illustrated below. Some of the illustrated placements are changes from what you’d see in DMM/QSG 201b, and reflect the various rule changes summarized.

If it seems a little confusing, you’re not alone.  Sorting through postal rules is one of the primary functions of any direct mail house.  If you have any upcoming projects, give your local provider a call.  Companies like ours are all too happy to help!

As an integrated marketing company, Print Tech has been providing direct mail for over 20 years.  If your marketing is in need of a boost, give us a call and see how we can make your marketing sizzle!
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