Have You Updated Your Folded Self-Mailer Design?

Kim Mauch
Posted by Kim Mauch Sr. Product Manager Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 18:01

Kim Mauch has over a decade of experience absorbing the ins-and-outs of effective mailing preparation and submission processes with a heavy emphasis on new USPS technologies including Intelligent Mail and electronic documentation.

In her current role as postal products specialist for Quadient, Kim educates customers on how to efficiently meet the latest USPS regulations.

She has presented at MailCom, National Postal Forum and numerous educational forums, including full-day channel training sessions, online webinars and high-profile customer training programs.

Customer Experience Update
Have You Updated Your Folded Self-Mailer Design?

After an exhaustive testing cycle with mailers, USPS has updated their design requirements for Folded Self-Mailers (FSM). The new design requirements are complicated, but that’s actually a good thing for mailers. By offering many design choices, USPS encourages mailers to be creative with their mail piece design while keeping the designs compatible with mail processing equipment. If you haven’t reviewed your FSM designs against the new USPS requirements, you can find complete information on RIBBS. Also, check out the last page of this handy reference for some great illustrations of acceptable designs. Here’s the update from the DMM Advisory:

Revised Standards for Folded Self-Mailers

The effective date for the Folded Self-Mailers (FSM) revised standards is drawing near—January 5, 2013. The final rule Federal Register was published on December 1, 2011. Additional FSM reference materials including graphic illustrations are on RIBBS under the Folded Self-Mailers web page at https://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=fsm. Business Mail Entry employees and Mailpiece Design Analysts can also help answer questions on the revised FSM standards.

The revised standards are intended to provide mailers more mailpiece design options, while balancing design innovation and machinability to improve the overall supply chain. Although the revised standards are not effective until January 5, 2013, the Postal Service encourages mailers to begin the transition now.

Key points in the revised standards include:

  • The final fold must be on the bottom, for oblong pieces, the final fold is on the leading edge.
  • When tabs are used as the sealing method, a minimum of two are required. Tabs cannot be placed on the bottom edge of oblong pieces.
  • New language added about glue as a sealing method.
  • New language added about a variety of optional elements that can be incorporated in the FSM design such as attachments, loose enclosures, perforations, and die-cuts.