Mail Piece Design

Here at Colortech we will design your direct mail and alleviate the hassle of not knowing the rules and regulations of the Post Office. We are here to help you and by doing so, we can potentially save you money!

Below are some direct mail suggestions:

  • Your mail piece is from ONE person to ONE person. Never write to a crowd, always imagine one person.
  • Creative sells as long as you keep your audience in mind.
  • Color produces better response rates than black and white.
  • "Fake" handwriting on the letter margins attracts readers.
  • "Personal" letters consistently outperform most others.
  • Make sure your mail list is up-to-date. If not, have us run it through the NCOALink database to check for updated addresses.
  • Make sure there are no duplicate names in your mail list. If you are not sure, have us run a duplicate check on your list.

Below are some basic Postal rules:

  • All Standard mailings must have at least 200 addressed pieces or collectively weigh 50 pounds.
  • All First Class mailings must have at least 250 pieces.
  • Full color is good to have on a mail piece but you must be aware of what is behind the recipient address. Light and pastel colors tend to work the best. If you have a hard time reading it, so will the Postal machines. It needs to be high contrast between the background and text.
  • You cannot use Textured, Fluorescence, Phosphorescence, Opacity, Dark Fiber material, Security Patterns for automation rates.
  • Mail piece must fall within one of the categories in Figure 1 below. If not, it may not be automated or needs to be sent another way.
  • To be considered for automation rates, it must fall within the aspect ratio (length divided by height must equal between 1.3 and 2.5).
  • The recipient address needs to be parallel to the longer dimension of the mail piece or it will fall under non automation rates.

Figure 1
Mail Piece Dimensions

Resources from the USPS Web Site.

Physical Standards 
201 Physical Standards for Commercial Letters and Cards PDF or HTML
201a Designing Letters and Cards for Automated Processing PDF or HTML
201b Tabs and Wafer Seals PDF or HTML
301 Physical Standards for Commercial Flats PDF or HTML
301a Designing Flats for Automated Processing PDF or HTML
401 Physical Standards for Commercial Parcels PDF or HTML
401a Designing Parcels for Automated Processing PDF or HTML

Extra Services 
507a Business Reply Mail (BRM) HTML
507b Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM) HTML
507c Meter Reply Mail (MRM) HTML