FOLDED SELF-MAILER STANDARDS
new and revised: are you ready
On Jan. 5, 2013, the Postal Service will implement updated mailing standards for folded self-mailers, enabling design innovation while also ensuring efficient processing at automation prices for these letter-size mailpieces.
After extensive testing and collaboration with the mailing industry, the Federal Register final rule was published Dec. 1, 2011, providing mailers over a year for planning the transition. If you haven’t already begun using the new standards, information is available to help you prepare for the changes.
The Postal Service has developed a quick reference guide and other materials that provide an overview of requirements and graphic illustrations for the primary self-mailer formats and optional creative elements. These resources can be found on RIBBS (ribbs.usps.gov) by looking up “Folded Self-Mailer” on the alphabetical or topic site indexes.
Local Business Mail Entry employees and mailpiece design analysts also can answer questions about the revised requirements.
A few key revisions are:
- Final fold must be on bottom; for oblong pieces the final fold is on the leading edge.
- When tabs are used as the sealing method, a minimum of two tabs is required; tab size may vary based on design. Tabs cannot be placed on the bottom edge of oblong style pieces.
- New language is included to account for glue as a sealing method.
- New language has been developed to account for a variety of optional creative elements to incorporate in the design (attachments, loose enclosures, perforations, die-cuts, etc.).
While the revised standards allow for more innovation and creativity, the requirements also better align with postal automation to minimize mailpiece damage and improve productivity.
Though the revised standards are not effective until January, the Postal Service encourages mailers to begin the transition now.
A quick reference guide with graphic illustrations for self-mailer fold-styles, closure methods, attachments, enclosures and other features can be found on the RIBBS (ribbs.usps.gov) Site Index A-Z, by following the alphabetical tab for “Folded Self-Mailer.”