FYI Blog

Best Practices: Top 3 things You Need to Know to Comply with New USPS Regulations

The USPS is out with a reminder of the new postal regulations that went into effect in January, and they mean business.  The Post Office has made it clear that they’re going to be sticklers for detail and won’t accept any variances to full compliance with their rules. So let’s go over the top three most important changes:

Self-mailers: Self-mailers have new design and mailing requirements and the USPS has stated that it will not allow any exceptions to these rules. As of January 5, folded, letter-size self mailers must:


  • Be printed on at least 70-lb. paper if the total weight is under one ounce, and at least 80-lb. paper if the total weight is over an ounce.
  • Must use three glue spots or two tabs to keep the self-mailer closed.
  • For more details on the new self-mailer requirements, go to:


We recommend working with Avalon and your production partners to make sure that all new specifications are met before printing your self-mailer. If the new rules are not followed to the letter, postal surcharges will be applied to the mailing. And no one wants to pay more to mail!


The Intelligent mail barcode (IMB): The IMB requirement officially went into effect on January 27. In order to qualify for automation discounts—which many of us depend on to keep our costs in check—all mailed pieces must now carry the IMB barcode. You can learn more specifics about the IMB at the Post Office’s website.


New postal rates went into effect on January 27. In an effort to help offset some of these postal increases, Avalon will continue to work with all clients to find the best possible mailing rate for each campaign. A full list of current postal rates can be found at the USPS website.


The bottom line: Looks like the Postal Service will be cracking down on even minor violations of its new regulations. So think through all postal issues before you print, consult with the Post Office if you have questions, and for more tips on how to get the most bang for your postage buck, please see my previous blog post.