Mail Piece Dimension Changes Take Effect January 2013

Beginning on January 5, 2013 the USPS is requiring that all folded self-mailers have a maximum size of 10.5″ x 6″.  The current maximum is 11.5″ x 6.125″, the same as letter-sized pieces.

There has been some confusion on whether or not letter-sized pieces (inserted envelopes and over-sized postcards) would also be subject to the new 10.5″ x 6″ maximum.  We have received confirmation from the USPS that letter-sized pieces may still be mailed within the existing standards – 11.5″ x 6.125″ maximum after the January 5th date.

Reformatting all of the existing self-mailer formats will certainly represent a challenge for designers and for marketers who will have a little less space for their message.  To read the full directive on the new self-mailers regulations, please click this link:

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  1. Sue Kee
    December 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Can anyone explain to me why they added this rule in dealing with panels – especially in a 3-panel mailer (Letter-fold) “the final folded panel creates the non-address side of the mailpiece by folding from bottom to top, or lead to trail edge”. We have quite a few programs that utilize the letter-fold format – and the “final folded panel” is the address side panel. To change all these formats now will cause lots of headaches for our clients – and I need to be able to explain it to them. Thanks for your help.

    • gofranklingo
      December 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      We believe that this is so that the top panel when looking at the address panel is closed. Apparently if the address was on the last panel folded, there would be an open or partially open top on the piece which could catch on the sorting equipment.

      • Sue Kee
        December 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm

        Thanks – and that makes partial sense – except that other formats have open tops, such as a bi-fold, quarter-fold & even oblong pieces. I guess it just doesn’t make sense to me – since you’ll be gluing or tabbing the top or lead/trail edges closed – why can’t there be an open top? I just don’t understand their theory. I am asking for MDA assistance with this as well – they just haven’t got back to me yet, so thanks for trying to help!

  2. gofranklingo
    December 11, 2012 at 8:45 am

    We agree with you – why must the 3-panel FSM be diffferent from the 2-panel or 4-panel piece? I am meeting with a representative this afternoon from our SCF to get this sorted out. Please let us know what you hear from the MDA and we will post our results later today or tomorrow.