Self-Mailer Mistakes to Avoid

Self-mailers can be a beneficial marketing tool for businesses and during the holiday season, we often see an influx of self-mailers as businesses increase communication with potential clients. What some people are unaware of, however, is the regulations that the postal service has on self-mailers and how if not followed, those regulations can stop your mailers from reaching your intended recipients.

The following are some common problems encountered with self-mailers that your business can avoid making:


1. Paper too thin
A self-mailer must be at least 0.009 inches thick; this is thicker than just normal copy paper. If it is too thin, it cannot be processed through the mail.


2. Paper too light
The weight of the paper is often confused with the thickness, but it is a completely different characteristic. The minimum paper weight of a self-mailer is 60lb.


3. Folded incorrectly
The postal service dictates that the final fold of a self-mailer must be located at the bottom of the mailer, with the seal located at the top.


4. Incorrect indicia
The indicia or imprint that signifies prepaid postage must have the correct city and permit number for the city in which the mailer is being sent from. For example, if you are mailing something from Tucson, the indicia cannot have a Los Angeles permit number.


5. Return Address
A first class self-mailer must display a return address. If the self-mailer is for a non-profit organization, it must contain the return address that the post office has on file in order to avoid higher shipping costs. The only exception to the return address is if it is a presorted standard mailer with an indicia.


6. Room for address and barcode
The postal service requires that self-mailers have an address area of approximately 4”W x 1.25”H on the lower right side of the mailer.


7. Remittance envelope
Self-mailers often contain a remittance envelope for recipients to fill out and return to the sending business, but if this envelope contains incorrect or incomplete information, it could cost your business additional postage.


8. Sponsor endorsements
Non-Profit Mailers are carefully inspected by the post office, so if not designed correctly, items such as event sponsors, company logos, or donor recognition sections could cause your mailer to be disqualified from mailing at the lower rates.