If you want the best postal rates, the USPS requires your direct mail piece to be sealed closed. There is really no mystery about tab-sealing your brochure, booklet or self-mailer so long as your mailing service adheres to USPS folded self-mailer (FSM) standards, which have changed for 2013. These changes affect both size and weight of the self-mailer and how the direct mail piece folds down and is tabbed to its final size.

It’s very important that you review your direct mail design and any of your previous direct mail marketing efforts you plan on re-mailing in 2013. Some mailing pieces that previously required only one tab will now require two tabs; others may require three tabs.

The following are highlights for folding and tabbing a self-mailer to its final mailable size (booklets have other tabbing requirements):

  • The final fold cannot be on the top (it can be on the bottom, and in some situations on the leading right edge). In no event can a self-mailer be tabbed on the bottom.
  • Self-mailers that are open on the top with the final fold on the bottom need two tabs on the top.
  • Basic folded self-mailers (FSM) weighing 1 oz. or less must consist of 70 lb. book grade (text, offset) paper and 80 lb. for basic FSM weighing more than 1 oz. Tri-folded self-mailers must be addressed on the middle panel, meaning the center panel that has the fold creases both top and bottom.

The following are highlights for size and weight of a direct mail self-mailer (booklets have other dimension and weight measurements):

Length: Minimum 5”, Maximum 10.5”.
Height:  Minimum 3.5”, Maximum 6”.
Thickness: Minimum 0.007” or 0.009” if the self-mailer exceeds 4.25” in height or 6” in length. In either case, the maximum thickness is 0.25”.
Weight: Maximum 3 oz.