3 Changes for Your Direct Mail in the New Year

December 2012
Please note these important Postal Service changes effective in January of 2013:

1) Tabbing Requirements for Folded Self Mailers (effective 1/5/13)
“Folded self mailers” are single or multiple sheets of paper folded together without binding
or stitching (with the exception of stitches on the inside folded edge). On January 5, the
Postal Service is updating standards for those seeking automation pricing:

  • Final fold must be on the bottom.
  • The folding configuration of the piece determines the location and quantity of wafer seals (or tabbing) required.
  • If tabs are used, a minimum of two is required.
  • Tabs can no longer have perforations, and, based on weight, will require 1”, 1.5”, or 2” tabs.
  • Aspect Ratio must be between 1.3 and 2.5 (length of piece divided by height).

If you don’t comply with these new guidelines, your postage could double.

2) Barcode Requirements Change (effective 1/28/13)
The USPS has been developing and using the new Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) for
several years. There are two types: basic and full service. The benefits of the IMB are
improved deliverability, increased efficiency, and—for full service users —the ability to
track mail in the delivery cycle.

On January 28, 2013, outgoing automated (discounted) mail and reply mail must use
IMB in place of the old POSTNET barcode. By using Fineline as your mailing provider, this
is seamless as we have already been using the technology for your direct mail.

Regarding your reply mail, specifically the return envelopes and mailing address, Fineline
can easily convert your POSTNET barcode to the IMB barcode equivalent for you.

3) Modest Postage Pricing Increase (effective 1/27/13)2013_PostagePriceIncrease

The Postal Service changes postage on January 27, about two
years since the last increase. Price changes for frequently used
products are summarized in the chart to the right.

To simplify the impact on your company, please contact
Fineline; we’ll review your planned campaigns for 2013.

Contact Fineline early in your campaigns so we can review the
design, configuration, and imprint needs. This assures minimal
postage costs and faster delivery for your mail.


About Fineline’s Mail Advisories
Fineline Mail Advisories keep our direct mail customers up-to-date on the most important developments at the
United States Postal Service (USPS) and Fineline’s mailing department. Sent only when necessary, they are quickreads,
written in terms that are easy to understand. You learn how your business may be affected or helped,
upfront, so you can anticipate and plan how to maximize your direct mail’s success.

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