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Does your Self-Mailer Meet the New Mail Requirements?

After producing 10,000 self-mailers, the pieces are sent to the post office for mailing. But when the pieces arrive, you get an unexpected surprise.

They don’t meet new mail requirements.

At this point, you could lose the automation mailing rate, along with paying an extra surcharge per piece. For larger quantities, this can add up fast, and make reprinting the entire mailing cheaper.

Even if you’re working with an experienced graphic designer or agency, they might not have considered how the new mail requirements will impact your self-mailer. Brooks Litho is up-to-date on the new changes, and can review your self-mailer before you print, saving you the headache and unexpected costs.

Here’s a few of the largest changes, and how they may impact your next mailing.

Is it really a Folded Self-Mailer?

The post office considers a mail piece a folded self-mailer when two or more panels are created, or when a single or multiple unbound sheets of paper are folded together and sealed to form a letter-size mail piece.

Basically, it’s anything that you do with a piece that is closed shut with fugitive glue or tabs/wafer seals. If you’re unsure if a piece falls under the new self-mailer rules, simply contact us, and we’ll take a look.

Maximum Dimensions Changed

The post office has changed their maximum dimension requirements. Previously, maximum dimensions for a folded self-mailer were 6.125 x 11. Now, the dimension requirements are reduced to 6 x 10.5 with a paper weight up to 3 oz.

For the basic folded self-mailer design, there is a 70 lb. text minimum for a 1 oz. mail piece and 80 lb. text minimum for 1 oz. to 3 oz. pieces.

Folding Styles

Along with the maximum dimension changes, the post office has created new restrictions for folding style and orientation. For horizontal pieces, the final fold must be at the bottom edge to non-address side. For vertical pieces, the final fold must be on the lead edge to non-address side.

Basically, when viewing the mailer with the addressed side facing you, the final folded edge must be at the bottom of a horizontal folded piece or the right side of a vertical folded piece.

Glue and Tabs

How you close your mailing piece has also changed with the new regulations. For example, if using glue, the outermost spots or lines must be within ¼ inch of the edges. The new changes also apply to tabs. For a basic self-mailer, changes require:

  • 1 oz. piece: Two 1” tabs
  • Over 1 oz. piece: Two 1.5” tabs

You can place tabs on the top, within 1” of lead/trail edge or on the lead/trail edge within 1” of the top edge.

Do the new self-mailer changes seem complicated? If so, don’t worry! Brooks Litho is up-to-date on all of the changes, and can review your individual piece and eliminate the guesswork and potential cost of making a mistake. For more information, contact us online or call (631) 789-4500 today!