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New Mailing Rules

Changes to Folded Self-Mailer Standards – What You Need To Know Effective January 5, 2013:

  1. Change in Size: The maximum standards for letter-size mail are 6” high, 10 ½” long and 3 oz. This means that no one can send a folded self-mailer that is 5 5/8 x 11 aka a tri-folded 11 x 17 sheet anymore. They will all have to be trimmed down to 10.5. There is also some potential for concern in the change from 6 1/8 to 6 – especially for self-mailers with lots of pages/folds. The extra 1/8” on a 6 × 9 folded self-mailer allowed for issues with layout, folding or cutting that may have made a 6” piece slightly taller, even if just on a percentage of the mailing. Recommendation – plan for error and make your final print height slightly less than 6”.
  2. Mail Panel Location for Tri-Folds: What the regulation states is that not only can the final fold not be on the top, but the mail panel has to be in the center panel. This is a big change if you typically plan on having two panels consecutive in the design on the mail side. Take this as an opportunity to get creative with your design and maybe find ways to make the mail panel flow with the rest of the page.
  3. Elimination of Final Top Fold: This change makes sense when you think about mail processing equipment - mail that is completely closed on the bottom will travel better through the system than mail that has the potential to open or nest into other mail because the bottom is open. This should be an easy adjustment to make but don’t get caught with this design element after the fact.
  4. Paper Requirements: This will have an effect on those of you who like to send out single sheets either tri-folded or bi-folded. The minimum paper weight for any FSM under 1 ounce will now be 70 lb and for pieces over 1 ounce the minimum will be 80 lb. What this means is printing your flyer on copy paper will NOT work and just meeting the minimum 9 pt thickness requirement when folded may not be enough. Recommendation – when in doubt, go with the thicker paper stock.
  5. Elimination of Single Tabs: This is more of a cost issue than anything else. All FSMs will require at least two tabs (and they can’t be clear tabs), depending on the design of the mailpiece (see here for an example). If you are concerned about tab placement, bring a sample of your design to the Print Shop to find out where they will be placed on your mailpiece.
  6. Please read the new mailing rules on brochures.