Mail Room: Ask Sandra

Sandra Long, vice president, Printer Market and Customer Development, Pitney Bowes, answers your questions about mailing. Send your questions to her at

Q: I am seeing a lot of self mailers now. Should I be recommending self mailers to my customers? What pertinent information do I need to know?

A: Self-mailers represent 20 to 30 percent of all letters mailed in the USPS. All of these need to get printed somewhere! This design type can be a cost savings opportunity for your customers, but it’s very important to stay abreast of and comply with all USPS regulations, including sealing requirements, to avoid paying more than necessary in postage.

You can find the specifications and standards in the Domestic Mail Manual, section 201. Access this via the Postal Explorer website or directly at Additionally, you can get assistance from the Mailpiece Design Analyst. You can locate your MDA via the Mailpiece Design Analyst Lookup Tool on Postal Explorer The benefits are there for you and your customers because higher non-machinable prices can be avoided. Your customers will come back to the provider who is reducing their overall print and mailing costs while maximizing the impact of their direct mail initiatives.

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