Direct Mail Specs

We provide the following information as general guidance only. Please consult your local post office or sales representative if you have a specific question about your direct mail project.

Direct Mail Piece Size

Confirming that your direct mail piece size is within the post office regulations can save you hundreds in postage. Letters will receive a better postage rate if the width is larger than the height. A rectangular shape is best. The recipient address must be parallel with the width side of letters. See below for flat addressing standards.

Requirements for letters and postcards (width x height x thickness):
  • Letter maximum size: 11 1/2" wide x 6 1/8" high x 0.25" thick
  • Postcard maximum size: 6" wide x 4 1/4" high x 0.016" thick
  • Mail piece minimum size: 5" wide x 3 1/2" high x 0.007" thick
Requirements for flats (width x height x thickness):
  • Flat minimum size: 5" high x 6" wide x 0.009"
  • Flat maximum size: 15" high x 12" wide x 0.75"

NOTE: A mail piece must exceed at least one of the maximum letter dimensions to be catogorized as a flat. If the mailpiece does not exceed the letter requirements, it must be tabbed and mailed as a letter.

United States Postal Service Mail Template

Direct Mail Paper Type

Our inkjet equipment can imprint on most coated and uncoated stocks including those varnished or aqueous coated. UV coatings must have an imprint area knocked out.

Direct Mail Piece Folding and Wafer Seal

You are saving money on your direct mail piece by not inserting it into an envelope, but where did you place the fold. By not considering the fold, in conjunction to the address panel, your direct mail piece may not qualify for the best postage discounts.

Requirements for folded mailers and booklets

  • All automated, folded direct mail requires a wafer seal
  • Fold must be at direct mail piece bottom, below the address panel, and wafer seal must be at top.

Mailer Fold & Wafer Seal Guidelines

Commercial Flats Address Standards

The are some new regulations for addressing commercial flat mail such as catalogs and magazines. The address block must appear on the top of the mail piece instead of the usual placement on the bottom of the back cover.

Complete address standard for commercial flat mail


Postage Display

A display of postage paid must be applied to all pieces of mail. You are not limited to just stamps.

  • Permits: The most effective way to apply postage to a mail piece. An indicia bearing the permit number of your company or mail house is imprinted on your mail piece either at the time of printing or mailing.
  • Stamps: Not just for First Class mail, there is a stamp for each permit type also. Letter with stamps have a higher rate of return than mail with indicias.
  • Meter: Used for First Class mail only. Postage amount prints onto each mail piece.
Postage Display Guide

Postage Payment

All direct mail processors will require pre-payment of postage before mailing can occur. In most cases the check can be made out directly to the postmaster. A sample of your mail piece along with your list will be required to calculate the postage required.


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