CLA Community Mailings
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Types of mail

Whether you use Retail or Bulk mailing, the Postal Service recognizes 4 types of mail; postcards, letters, large envelopes and parcels. The Postal Service classifies your mail piece by its dimensions.

In addition to what we usually think of as a booklet, many newsletters are considered Letter-sized Booklets - Please review postal service requirements or this type of mail.

From time to time you may want to send an un-enveloped piece or Folded Self Mailer, In January, 2013 the Postal Service revised standards for these pieces. Folded Self Mailers - Please review postal service requirements or this type of mail.


Postcards

postcard

  minimum maximum
length*
5 inches
6 inches
height
3 1/2 inches
4 1/2 inches
thickness
0.007 inches
0.016 inches
*length is the dimension parallel to the address.

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Letters (including oversized postcards)

letters

  minimum maximum
length*
5 inches
11 1/2 inches
height
3 1/2 inches
6 1/8 inches
thickness
0.007 inches
1/4 inch
weight
3.3 ounces
*length is the dimension parallel to the address.

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Flats (Large Envelope) - are not necessarily in envelopes and have special requirements; they must be:

  • Flexible
  • Rectangular with 4 square corners
  • Uniformly thick
  • For enveloped pieces all of the delivery address must be on one half (right or left) of the envelope.
  • For non-enveloped pieces the delivery address must be at least 8 point in size and placed entirely in the top half of the mail piece (see graphic below)

flats

 

  minimum* maximum
length
11 1/2 inches
15 inches
height
6 1/8 inches
12 inches
thickness
1/4 inch
3/4 inch
weight  
16 ounces
* large envelopes exceed at least one of these dimensions and length is the longest dimension.

flat address

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Parcels - a few things to note:

  • length + girth cannot exceed 108 inches
  • length = the longest side of the parcel
  • girth = measurement around the thickest part of the parcel
  • Parcels may incur surcharges if they are oversized; please review Postal Standards.

parcels

  minimum maximum
length
6 inches
34 inches
height
3 inches
17 inches
thickness
1/4 inch
17 inches
weight  
16 ounces

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Letter-sized Booklets - if not placed in an envelope, many newsletters are considered booklets; the Post Office has special requirements for booklets:

  • Booklets are comprised of sheets or pages
  • If stapled, booklets must be fastened by at least 2 staples in the fold
  • Booklets are open on 3 sides before sealing, similar in design to a book
  • In general, booklets must be nearly uniformly thick
  • Large booklets may be folded to letter-size for mailing if the final piece remains uniform in thickness and the final fold is on the bottom or on the right hand side (as you read the address label)
  • The bound edge of the booklet must be on the bottom or on the right hand side (as you read the address label)
  • Booklets must be tabbed using three, non-perforated 1 1/2" tabs as closures (see Design Chart below)
  • Large or heavy booklets must be closed with three, non-perforated 2 inch tabs (see Design Chart below)
  • Tabs may overhang the edge of the booklet by 1/16th of an inch
  • Weight of cover stock has been increased (see Design Chart below)
  • Please note...Spiral bound booklets are not uniformly thick and don't qualify for the lowest mailing rate - you can still save, just not as much
  minimum maximum
length
5 inches
10 1/2 inches
height
3 1/2 inches
6 inches
thickness*
.009 inch
.25 inches
weight  
3 ounces**

* thickness is measured at the spine
** booklets weighing over 3 ounces must be placed in sealed envelopes, and mail at large envelope rates

 

Design Chart - in September 2009, new requirements for tab positioning and cover weight went into effect.

This chart will help you correctly position tabs and determine the appropriate weight for cover paper

As you look at the address label,

And the spine or fold is...

And the length is… The cover stock must be at least… You must seal the piece with…
And place the tabs in these locations…
On the bottom (longer) edge

5” to 9” long

Over 9” up to 10.5” long

50 pound


60 pound

Three 1.5” non- perforated tabs

Two tabs on right edge; one tab on left edge. Position lower right tab 0.5 inch from the bottom edge. Position upper tabs 1 inch from the top edge.

Final fold on the bottom (longer) edge, with the folded spine on the right or left (shorter) edge

5” to 10.5” long
40 pound
Three 1.5” non- perforated tabs

For a larger, folded booklet:
Two tabs on right edge; one tab on left edge. Position lower right tab 0.5 inch from the bottom edge. Position upper tabs 1 inch from the top edge.

Spine on the right (shorter) edge

5” to 9” long

Over 9”, up to 10.5” long

60 pound


70 pound

Three 1.5” non- perforated tabs
Two tabs on top edge; one tab on left edge. Position top tabs 1 inch from left and right edge. Position left tab in the middle.
Spine on bottom (longer) edge, non-perforated inner flap on top (upper) edge
5” to 9.5” long
70 pound
Continuous
glue line or glue spots
Perfect bound or saddle stitched with a continuous glue line
along flap preferred, minimum 1inch glue spots acceptable if placed within ¾ inch of right and left edges.

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Folded Self-Mailers (FSM) - are formed of panels created when a single or multiple unbound sheets of paper are folded together and sealed to form a letter-size mail piece; the Post Office has special requirements for Folded Self-Mailers:

  • Allowable dimensions are a minimum height of a 3.5" (6" maximum) and a minimum length of 5" (maximum of 10.5")
  • FSMs may weigh up to a maximum of 3 ounces
  • Tabs may overhang the edge of the FSM by 1/16th of an inch
  • Paper weight has been significantly increased (see Design Chart below)
  • A maximum of 12 panels are allowed. To calculate the number of panels in a piece, you'll first need to consider the method of folding.

Common fold methods include:

  • Bi-fold: single sheet folded once in half forming two panels
  • Tri-fold: single sheet folded twice forming three panels
  • Quarter-fold: single sheet folded at least two times with the second fold at a right angle (perpendicular) to the preceding fold. One sheet of paper quarter- folded produces four panels and
  • Oblong: mail piece with fold(s) vertical to length of letter. Final fold must be on lead edge.
  • Please note...when a folded self-mailer is made of multiple sheets, you must multiply the number of sheets by the number of panels created when folding a single sheet to determine the number of panels in the finished multi-sheet folded self-mailer. e.g. (3) sheets of paper folded once in half (2 panels) = (6) total panels. Both sides of a panel count as “one and the same” panel.
  minimum maximum
length
5 inches
10 1/2 inches
height
3 1/2 inches
6 inches
number of panels allowed
2
12
weight  
3 ounces

 

Design Chart - in January, 2103, new requirements for paper weight, final fold location and tabbing went into effect.

This chart will help assure that your FSM conforms to USPS requirements

  FSM weighing 1 ounce or less FSM weighing more than 1 ounce
Final fold
bottom
bottom
Paper weight
28 pound minimum
31 pound minimum
Non-perforated tab size
1 inch minimum
1.5 inch minimum
Minimum # of tabs required
2
3


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