fbpx

CRST ESSENTIAL GUIDE FOR SELF-MAILER (LETTER-RATE) TABBING REGULATIONS

For those wishing for bottom-line essential guidance for USPS self-mailer wafer-seal tabbing regulations for proper tab placement, you’ll notice there is little in the way of online/web confirmation of the existing USPS guidance let a alone robust visual or graphical aids to help understand these rules.  In fact, when you start web browsing, you might notice that most of the said-guidance that we found is not only outdated, but actually wrong!  Here, we at Cornerstone Services, Inc. want to give you 100% correct guidance so that you can get your mailings right, especially considering that you are unlikely to get much guidance from the Postal Service itself as few USPS employees are formally trained in any knowledge of mailing regulations.

 

As a matter of background, significant regulation updates were made by the Postal Service to the USPS DMM (Domestic Mail Manual) in 2013 and 2016 yet not since 2013 have there been a useful pictures to help explain where tab placement.  Bottom Line:  the U.S. Post Office hasn’t made it easy to know where to put tabs on your self-mailer brochures.

 

This posting is therefore meant to be practical and useful to show mailers (e.g. mail houses, universities, non-profit orgs, printers, etc.) the most common tabbing regulations for both preparation and presentment of automation or non-automation letter rate mailings.  We’re not trying to cover all the nuances of self-mailer tabbing but we just want to show you, in layman’s terms, the basic points (with helpful pictures) you probably need to know for most mailings:

Tabbing Basics for Mailing Tri-fold Brochure Self-Mailers

  • Hard-edge (folded edge) at bottom, open-edge at top
  • Min. 28/70 lb. uncoated paperstock
  • Min. two (2) 1” wafer seal tabs (placed no more than 1” away from the brochure corner)
  • Mailing Address on center panel of brochure flyer

Tabbing Basics for French-Fold (Quarter-fold) Newsletter Self-Mailers with NO staples (stitching)

  • Hard-edge (folded edge) at bottom, folded edges at right, and, open-edges at top
  • Min. 28/70 lb. uncoated paperstock
  • Min. two (2) min. sized 1” wafer seal tabs (placed no more than 1” away from the brochure corner)

Tabbing Basics for French-Fold (Quarter-fold) Stapled (stitched) Newsletter Self-Mailers

  • Hard-edge (folded edge) at bottom, folded edges at right, and, open-edges at top
  • Min. 28/70 lb. uncoated paperstock
  • Min. three (3) 1 ½” (1.5”) wafer seal tabs: two on mailpiece side right and one at mailpiece side upper left

Yellow indicates placement of staples

Tabbing Basics for Saddle-Stitched Booklets

  • Min. 20/50 lb. uncoated paper on cover
  • Booklet spine must be at the mailpiece bottom
  • Min. three (3) 1 ½” (1.5”) wafer seal tabs: two on mailpiece side right and one at mailpiece side upper left

[Note:  tab size and placement is identical to stitched French-folded self-mailers; here, we would recommend min. 24/60 lb., if not 28.70 lb., paperstock and not 20/50 lb. for the cover, based upon how we have seen the USPS automation equipment handle such self mailers; if you can use actual coverstock, so much the better.]

Yellow indicates placement of staples

Tabbing Basics for Oblong Self-mailer (Two Options)

  • Hard-edge (folded edge) at side right
  • Min. 28/70 lb. uncoated paperstock
  • Oblong Tabbing Option 1:  min. two (2) 1” wafer seal tabs: one at mailpiece top center and one at side left center
  • Oblong Tabbing Option 2:  min. two (2) 1” wafer seal tabs: both at side left

[Note:  it is our recommendation is to use 1 ½” (1.5”) tabs as well as cardstock (e.g. 110 lb. index, 12 pt or 14 pt) instead of paperstock, although the DMM regulations do not require either option]

Other Important Points

  • If you need to know more about Physical Standards for Self-Mailers (e.g. mailpiece size, weight implications) you can review the USPS Quick Service Guide Section 201.
  • We’re not referencing glue options or glue placement regulations because if you’re reading this, it’s not likely you will have access to the glue sealing machines used by larger printer/mailers.
  • There are a lot of minor nuances to these regulations.  For example, the use of newspaper print as a self-mailer (which we don’t recommend!) requires 1 ½” (1.5”) wafer seal tabs.  To get a more complete scope of all the regulations, again go to the USPS Quick Service Guide Section 200  (Commercial Letters, Flats, and Parcels Design Standards) above or run a Postal Explorer search inside the DMM.

Cornerstone Services, Inc. is a provider of creative direct mail, web, and custom web-based data solutions.  If you wish to contact us, our email is info@crst.net and phone is (845) 255-5722.

 

 

Call Now ButtonGive Us a Call! Skip to content