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Mailing Overview
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  1. Mailing Overview • The US Postal Service offers significant postage discounts on presorted mail. • The purpose of a mail house is to handle some of the tasks normally assumed by the post office. • The higher the level of automation associated with a Signature prepared mailing, the less handling required on the part of the post office and the greater the postage discounts passed on to the customer. Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  2. Types of Mail Service • First Class Mail: the fastest service available at the highest postage rates, automatic return to sender if undeliverable. Regular First Class: full rate postage w/ indicia for a minimum of 200 records First Class Presort: discounted postage for first class service for a minimum of 500 records. Presort Standard: slower than first class but lower postage rates. Minimum of 200 records. Undeliverable mail is tossed unless return service is requested – at an additional charge. Non – Profit: A subset of presort standard at lower postage rates. Minimum of 200 records. The organization must apply for a non-profit status with the post office even though they may already have a non-profit tax status. Note – The proper indicia must be used for each. Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  3. A Word About Indicias • It’s much easier for Signature to print an indicia while on press vs. trying to inkjet it after the job is printed. • Even if only a partial quantity requires an indicia, it’s still best to print it and make a plate change to print those without the indicia. • If you do not have an indicia and would like to use Signature’s indicia, please indicate which type of mail service you require. • If you have your own indicia, please include it with your artwork at the time you give us your files. Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  4. Must be rectangular if less than ¼ inch thick. Must be at least 3.5 inches high and 5 inches long. Must be at least .007 thick (7 pts) Note: customized market mail does not have to be rectangular. Mailpiece Design BasicsIs it Mailable? Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  5. Mailpiece Design / Mailability The location and orientation of the delivery address determines the length of the piece. address address length length Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  6. Mailpiece Design / Processing Category Postcard Letter Flat Parcel Note : Postage costs and mail preparation requirements are different based on the processing category. Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  7. Mailpiece DesignProcessing Category: Postcard Your mailpiece is a postcard if it falls within these dimensions: Minimum: 5 inches long by 3.5 inches high and .007 ( 7 pt) thick. Maximum: 6 inches long by 4.25 inches high an up to .016 (16pt) thick. Note: postcard rates are available for first class mail only and the single piece rate is $0.26. The same physical size can be mailed as a “letter” at presort standard rates. In this case, the “letter” rate will be less than the “postcard” rate. Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  8. Mailpiece DesignProcessing Category: Letter Your mailpiece is a letter if it falls within these dimensions: Minimum: 5 inches long by 3.5 inches high and .007 ( 7 pt) thick. Maximum: 11.5 inches long by 6.125 inches high an up to .25 inch thick. Note: If the size exceeds 6 inches long by 4.25 high, the stock must be at least 9 pt thick. Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  9. Mailpiece DesignProcessing Category: Flat Your mailpiece is a flat if it exceeds one of the letter dimensions and does not exceed the maximum flat dimensions. Minimum: 11.5 inches long by 6.125 inches high and .25 inches thick. Maximum: 15 inches long by 12 inches high and up to .75 inches thick. Note: It mails at non-letter rates and must be prepared as a flat. Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  10. Mailpiece DesignProcessing Category: Parcel Your mailpiece is a parcel if it does not qualify as a letter or a flat. Bound Printed Matter is a subset of the parcel category and includes more than one bound catalog inserted into an envelope. Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  11. Mailpiece Design / Isit Mailable? If it is not machinable, it cannot be mailed at automation rates. In addition, it may be subject to a surcharge. Mails for approximately $0.21 at 5 digit auto presort standard. Mails for approximately $0.31 at 5 digit presort with non-machinable surcharge. 5 x 7 address 7 x 5 address length length Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  12. Must meet aspect ratio relationship between length and height. Cannot be polywrapped or enclosed in any plastic material. Cannot have clasps, strings, buttons or other any other similar closure device. Cannot be too rigid. Must be able to bend around transportation belts. If the mailpiece is larger than 6 x 4.25, the thickness must be at least .009 (9pt). Delivery address must be parallel to the longest dimension. Self mailers with a folded edge perpendicular to the address must have the fold on the right and be tabbed properly. Booklets must have the bound edge along the longer dimension with the spine at the bottom. 9 Criteria for Machinable / Automation letters( or pay non-machinable rates) Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  13. More About Aspect Ratios The aspect ratio is the length divided by the height. An aspect ratio between 1.3 and 2.5 is required for automation rates. Aspect Ratio = 5/7 or 0.71 Aspect Ratio = 7/5 or 1.4 7 5 non- machinable machinable 7 5 Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  14. Machinability for Booklets with Multiple Pages The bound spine must be at the bottom and the opening at the top. Multiple pages usually require 2 tabs at the top. Tabs/wafer seals, tape or fugitive glue are acceptable forms of closure, Staples are not allowed. fold Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  15. Machinability for Other Folded Mailers such as 4 page mailers and 6 page mailers fold address address fold For 4 page mailers, paper must be at least 28# bond /70# text. For 6 page mailers (or trifolds) paper must be at least 24# bond / 60# text. Tabs/wafer seals, tape or fugitive glue are acceptable forms of closure. Staples are not allowed. When the fold is positioned at the bottom relative to the delivery address, only 1 tab is required. When the fold is positioned at the top relative to the delivery address, 2 tabs are required. Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  16. Machinability for Perpendicular Folds for Self Mailers Self mailers with an address perpendicular to the fold must be designed with the fold on the right (leading edge) and tabbed as follows: fold L = > 7 fold L = < 7 Tabs/wafer seals, tape or fugitive glue are acceptable forms of closure. Staples are not allowed. Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  17. Machinability for Perpendicular Folds for Booklets Booklets with an address perpendicular to the fold must be designed with the fold on the right ( leading edge) and tabbed as follows: L = > 6 x 4.25 fold fold L = < 6 x 4.25 Tabs/wafer seals, tape or fugitive glue are acceptable forms of closure. Staples are not allowed. Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  18. Machinability Requirements for Automation Flats • Must be uniform in thickness and smooth in shape. • If using an envelope, contents must be approximately the same size as the envelope. • Some polywrap films are acceptable if previously approved by the USPS. • Proper positioning of the address block is required. There is more flexibility for positioning of the address block with flats than with letters. • No tabbing is required except for short covers. spine spine Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  19. Barcodes • A barcode is a series of long and short lines which represents an address. • Every single piece of mail handled by the USPS must have a barcode printed on it. If the barcode is not already printed on the mailpiece when it arrives at the post office, the post office will apply it. • The highest level of postal discounts are given to presorted mail which arrive at a bulk mail center with a barcode already on it. Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

  20. Mailpiece Design Resources Postal Explorer Website : www.pe.usps.com Use to research Quick Service Guides and the Domestic Mail Manual Main USPS Website: www.usps.com or www.usps.gov Use to find business rate calculator, forms, direct mail information Mailpiece Design Analysts: Skip DelSesto Dave Girard Phone: 401-276-5066 Phone: 401-276-5023 Fax: 401-276-6956 Fax 401-275-6956 johna.delsesto@usps.gov davidr.girard@usps.gov Mailing Requirements : Everett Aubin: 401-752-5640 Five Almeida Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914