aspect ratio guide

Know Your Marketer: Part 3

A Guide to Speaking to Your Marketing Contacts about Direct Mail
By Tim O'Hanlon

A recent OIG report revealed reservations marketers have about direct mail. As a mailing industry professional, you have the opportunity to educate marketing colleagues about the importance of direct mail. This guide can help!

Have you ever heard of a “fletter”? That’s the term used for a letter that mails as a flat due to incorrect address orientation. It can also represent a 50 percent increase in postage (ouch!), turning a failure to understand postal specifications into a costly mistake.

Not surprisingly, today’s busy marketers are concerned about knowing the specifications so they can comply with them.

direct mail reservation #3

Reservation #3: Mail Specifications are Complicated – and I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know.

Mail specifications can be complex, especially when you consider all the various classes of mail. Busy marketers find it challenging to understand mail specifications when they don’t interact with them on a day-to-day basis.

The solution: Use available education and support resources to make it easier for your marketing contacts to understand and comply with mail specifications.

Get to Know the Experts

Remember how much we like acronyms? Here are some more for you. PCCs, or Postal Partner Councils, allow for communication to flow from mailers to the USPS and vice versa. They offer fantastic insight on local mail topics, and could be a way to learn more about mail specifications. MDAs, or Mailpiece Design Analysts, are specially trained postal employees who can answer your questions regarding mailpiece design on anything from a #10 envelope to a large 9 x 12" open side booklet. When you want to understand correct mail compliance, MDAs can explain the specifications on everything from paper, thickness and flexibility to rigidity requirements.

Become the Expert

The Envelope Manufacturers Association offers a Postal Partner Certification that can help you become an expert on mail specifications. This three-year certification covers everything you need to know about things like Intelligent Mail barcodes, aspect ratios and minimum basis weights for business reply mail.

LinkedIn Learning, available through subscription, has a treasure-trove of continuing education courses on mail specs. Print Production: Direct Mail by direct mail whiz Trish Witkowski is a good one to help you brush up on mail requirements, design and optimization.

Share Your Knowledge (in Bite-Sized Pieces)

Once you have the knowledge, you can share it with your marketing contacts in easy-to-understand ways. Tension has a guide on “How to Measure an Envelope” to help mailers understand how to capture accurate dimensions, and our Envelope Basics series provides thorough overviews of envelope specifications, print, paper and more.

Tension Sales experts are Certified Postal Partners and can help you design your mail campaign to comply with ease. Contact us today to get started.

row of mailboxesWant to read more in this series?

Check out Know Your Marketer: Part 4 on communicating the value of direct mail.

Add new comment