skip to content

Inserting and Addressing - Preparation

Designing your Mail Piece for Automation Rates

First, let's discuss what Automation Rates are! They are the lowest postage rates available in the processing categories of First Class, Periodicals, and Standard Mail. They also receive the fastest delivery. To be eligible for automation rates your Mailing List must be processed through some type of Postal Software. The software must have approval by the United States Post Office and be Cass and Pave Certified. This software will apply zip+4 codes, carrier route codes and bar codes to your mailing list. Direct Mail Service has this software and is experienced in the proper mailing procedures required by the Post Office for these types of mailings.

Next, we'll discuss the most important aspect of automation, and that is the design of your mail piece. Care must be taken with the design of the mail piece concerning your mailing panel. This is a situation where less is more, especially for brochures, flyers and pamphlets. Most problems arise when departments have not consulted with us before the mail piece has gone to print, resulting in issues that could concern USPS regulations and disqualify the mailing for the lower postal rates. Here are the requirements to follow so that you always qualify your mailings!

There must be a minimum of 200 or more pieces or 50 lbs. for United States only.

Letters and Cards for Automated Processing

Shape: rectangular.

Aspect Ratio: divide/ length by the height/ not less than 1.3 or more than 2.5

Dimensions: for Cards

~ Minimum: 3-1/2 inches high, 5 inches long and 0.009 inch thick.

~ Maximum: 4-1/4inches high, 6 inches long and 0.016 inch thick.

Dimensions: for Letters

~ Minimum: 3-1/2 inches high, 5 inches long and 0.009 inch thick.

~ Maximum: 6-1/8 inches high, 11-1/2 inches long and 1/4 inch thick.

Weight: not to exceed 3.3362 ounces per piece.

Flats for Automated Processing

Dimensions: for Flats

~ Minimum: 6 inches high, 0.009 inch thick,
~ 5 inches long if 6 to 7.5 inches high,
~ 6 inches long if higher than 7.5 inches.

~ Maximum: 12 inches high, 15 inches long, and 0.75 inch thick.

Weight: not to exceed 16 ounces.

Folded Self-Mailers

The required minimum base weight of the paper to be used for folded self-mailers (mailpieces designed mail without envelopes), varies with the construction of the mailpieces as follows.

For a single folded sheet/sealed with one tab or glue spot/a minimum basis weight of 28 pounds (17 inches by 22 inches by 500 sheets) or 70 pounds (24 inches by 38 inches by 500 sheets).

For two or more sheets/sealed with one tab or glue spot/a minimum basis weight of 24 pounds (17 inches by 22 inches by 500 sheets) or 60 pounds (25 inches by 38 inches by 500 sheets).

For a single folded sheet or multiple sheets/sealed with two tabs or two-glue spots/a minimum basis weight of 20 pounds (17 inches by 22 inches by 500 sheets).

Booklets

The required minimum basis weight of paper for covers on booklet-type mailings is 60 pounds (17 inches by 22 inches by 500 sheets).