7 Courtesy Reply Mail

7-1 Overview

Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM) consists of preaddressed postcards or envelopes that the mailer provides to customers, both to expedite their responses and to provide more accurate delivery. It differs from BRM in that no fees are required and the respondent is responsible for applying the correct postage before mailing back the card or envelope.

The mailer prepares CRM with the correct address and barcode to take advantage of automated USPS processing. It is a good choice when you wish to direct replies of payments to an address that is different from your usual mailing address, such as a customer service center or a payment processing location.

The Postal Service provides the mailer, at no charge, the facing identification mark (FIM) and the appropriate barcode that the mailer prints on CRM pieces.

Exhibit 7-1a provides layout guidelines for a CRM envelope, and Exhibit 7-1b provides a CRM checklist.

Exhibit 7-1a

Courtesy Reply Mail Layout Guidelines

Courtesy Reply mail layout example

Exhibit 7-1b

Courtesy Reply Mail Checklist


Courtesy Reply Mail Checklist

This checklist is provided to assist mailers with designing Courtesy Reply Mail.

  1. Facing Identification Mark (FIM)
  2. FIM A is used.
  3. FIM A is properly positioned. Minimum PRO is met.
  4. No extraneous printing is in the FIM clear zone.
  5. Postage Area: Customer Reminder to Affix Postage (optional element)
  6. Area extends no more than 1-3/4 inches from the right edge of the mailpiece.
  7. Delivery Address Block
  8. Delivery address line (street address/PO box number) is directly above city/state/ZIP+4 line.
  9. ZIP Code corresponds with barcode.
  10. City/state/ZIP+4 line is at least 5/8 inch from bottom and no higher than 2-1/4 inches from bottom edge of mailpiece.
  11. For window envelopes only: Minimum clearances between address block (including barcode) and window edges are maintained on all sides during “insert shift.”
  12. Barcode
  13. Barcode is correctly positioned (in address block or in barcode clear zone).
  14. Barcode is readable.
  15. Print reflectance minimum is met.
  16. If barcoded in the barcode clear zone: There is no extraneous printing or other matter in the zone.
  17. Other
  18. Aspect ratio is met.
  19. Dimensions are within the letter-size standards.
  20. Piece is at least 3-1/2 inches high and at least inches long.
  21. If no longer than 4-1/4 inches by 6 inches, piece is at least 0.007 inches thick, and at least 0.009 inches thick if piece is large than 4-1/4 inches by 6 inches.
  22. For official mail only: Endorsed “Official Business, Penalty for Private Use $300” in upper left area.