Your favorite direct mail piece may be obsolete

Your favorite direct mail piece may be obsolete

We’ll it’s that time of year again.  The holidays are behind us, there is snow on the ground and the US Postal Service just rolled out their new postage rates.  Yes, it’s a seasonal change that now happens every year about this time.

Every year the US Postal Service evaluates their efficiencies and adjusts their rates according to what kind services and mail-pieces cost them the most and what types of mail-pieces are most efficient.  This year is no different.  The new postage rates for 2013 take effect on the 27th of January. A CSG-Simplified 2013 postage rate chart available HERE.

Here are some changes you really need to know most:

The US Postal service has determined that the type of mailer that gets stuck in their equipment the most is a mailpiece that opens “under the address area”.  We call these “Open on the bottom” mailers and they always required more tabs on these.    Make sure all of your mail-piece designs are folded so that any tabs to seal the mailer are above the address area, not below it.
If you present the wrong type of folded mailpiece it will be rejected, so be careful on this one.

It used to be that we either had to apply 1 tab on the top of a mailer or 2 tabs if we had to seal the bottom of a mailer.  Now we have to apply 2 tabs on any self-mailer and you cannot seal the bottom of a mailer or even mail that type of piece (see above).  This additional sealing is so your mailing travels smoothest to its destination through postal automation equipment.

Finally, Really!  This is a good thing.  The new barcodes have been around a long time and yet so many companies had not adopted them yet.  The new barcodes are called “Intelligent Mail Barcodes” and between these barcodes and the QR “Quick Response” barcodes Direct Mail is regaining its throne in the marketing and response world.

The wrong barcode you will cost you your automation discounts, make sure you are covered.

OK, this might be the one that will catch the most people off-guard.  In the Casino world we are all familiar with the “Oversized Postcard”.  Well the maximum size of that postcard has just been changed. If you present a postcard bigger than 6×10.5” it will be considered a flat and your postage could triple.

This could be additional income to the US Postal Service but these expenses would be lost income to you,  so it makes a lot of sense to get this information to your design teams right away.

For greater details on these changes you can check out more of our blog or give us a quick call.  We are always happy to help you with your direct mail questions and guide you in the right direction.

New Direct Mail Folding and Tabbing Requirements

New rules for Folded Self-Mailers (FSMs) and Tabbing become effective January 5, 2013.  Are you ready?

Yes, you read it right.  More changes from the post office.  This time they say the changes will reduce damaged mail pieces and keep the high-speed postal machinery from jamming and slowing processing.  Well, that sounds good!  There will be no grace period, so get with your graphic designers and pass on the new requirements.

What is a Folded Self-Mailer?  It is a mail piece comprised of panels created when a single sheet or multiple sheets of paper are folded together and sealed to form a letter-size mailer.  It does not go in an envelope and is not bound in any way.  Any mailer that is bound in any way is a booklet and the new tabbing rules do not apply.  Mailers with discs have been reclassified and have different rules.

Here is a summary of the most important new rules for Folded Self-Mailers:

  1. Height maximum is now 6 inches (Minimum height is still 3 ½ inches).
  2. Length maximum is now 10 ½ inches (Minimum length is still 5 inches).
  3. Maximum Weight: 3 ounces.
  4. Final fold must be at the bottom of the mailer or on the leading edge (right side) of the mailer for oblong pieces.
  5. Limited to 12 total panels.
  6. Final folded panel creates the non-address side of the mailer as folded bottom to top or leading to trailing edge.  Address panel can no longer be on the very top panel.
  7. Mailers with 4 panels must be printed on 28 # bond stock (70 # book) minimum.

Here is a summary of the most important new rules for Tabbing:

  1. Perforated tabs are no longer accepted.
  2. Minimum size of tab is one inch in diameter.
  3. Minimum number of tabs is two.
  4. Placement of tabs is dependent upon the design of the mail piece.
  5. Tabs can no longer be placed on the bottom edge of the mail piece.
  6. 2 one-inch tabs may be used for mail pieces weighing one ounce or less.
  7. Mail pieces weighing over one ounce must use two 1 ½ inch tabs.

Have questions or concerns or need help with a tricky mail piece?  Give us a call and send us a copy of your artwork before you go to print and we’ll help make sure you have it right!

Call us at 800-881-2150… We’re here to Help!

Or here is our online request form