Self Snail-Mailers

Self-mailers are printed and addressed in a way that is a useful format for newsletters, donation mailings, and promotions. The post office changed its tabbing and address orientation requirements on January 27, 2013. Designing self-mailers with the new regulations in mind will save you a headache when your next project is delivered to the post office.

Standard self-mailers are either sized at 8.5″ x 11″ trifolded to 8.5″ x 3.67″ or bifolded to 8.5″ x 5.5″. Either of these pieces need to be tabbed twice on the top of the mailer. These tabs should be within an inch of each edge of the mail piece. The address panel now needs to be on the closed side of the self-mailer at least 5/8″ from the bottom and 1/2″ from the right hand side of the piece. The paper printed on should be at least a 70# weight.

photo (1)In addition, the post office needs 4″ above or below the address to account for Intelligent Mail bar code (IMb). IMbs have replaced POSTNET bar codes and are required to receive automation discounts on postage. The new height requirement for IMbs is a bit taller and ranges anywhere from 0.015″ – 0.025″. When inserting pre-addressed letters into window envelopes, this should be kept in mind. If there are more than 4 or 5 address lines, positioning of the address may need to be adjusted to ensure that the bar code shows through the window.

With all of the changes at the post office, it’s probably a good idea to check a project’s specifications with a postal rep or direct mail firm before finalizing a design. Wells continues to be a trusted resource for mailings, even if there are just in the preparation stages.

-Dan Dettman

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