Direct Mail Printing FAQ

13 MIN READ
Level: basic

Have a question about printing direct mail? Check out these direct mail printing FAQ and learn about our paper stocks options, mailing requirements, variable printing and more.

Direct Mail Booklets

Direct mail booklet

What sizes are available?

You can design custom Direct Mail Booklets for online printing in our predetermined sizes or use custom dimensions. When you enter your desired dimensions in the Finished Size fields on the product page, a notification will alert you if they are outside our parameters. In that case, you can request a Custom Quote.

For mailing, does my booklet need to be a specific size?

For mailing at Letter rates, your custom booklet must be rectangular and meet these dimension requirements:

  • Have a minimum height of 3-1/2” and a maximum height of 6”. 
  • Have a minimum length of 5” and a maximum length of 10-1/2”.
  • Note: The length is the measurement of the side parallel to the address.

To be eligible for Letter rates, all finished folds must fall within the standard postal aspect ratio (the length divided by the height must equal less than 1.3). 

If you’d like a booklet larger than 6”H x 10-1/2″L, please request a Custom Quote. Anything larger than this will be subject to Flat postage rates.

If your booklet falls outside of these parameters, additional postage will be required. Learn more: Booklet Mailing Design Guidelines

What paper stocks and weights are available?

As a premium online printer, our booklet printing is available in premium coated, uncoated and recycled paper stocks and various cover, text and point weights (the larger the number, the heavier the stock). 

Learn more: Small Format Paper Stocks, Coated Paper Stocks vs. Uncoated Paper Stocks, Recycled Paper Stocks, Text Weight vs. Cover Weight

How do I arrange pages for online printing?

Please provide two files: a cover file and an interior page file. The cover file should be twice the size of the final page dimensions, plus the spine size and bleed (i.e. a 6”W page with a .1” spine would have a 12.35”W cover file, including bleed). Learn more: Bleed & Borders

It’s important to provide the interior page file in the order the pages will be read. In this file, page one is the first right-hand body page, page two is the back of page one, page three is the front of the second body page, etc.

What’s the difference between pages and sheets? Do I include the cover when calculating them?

A page is one side or face of a piece of paper. A sheet is two pages. For example, page one is the front cover, page two is the inside of the front cover, page three is the first interior page, etc. To calculate the number of sheets, divide the number of pages by two. Learn more: How to Count Pages & Sheets

Should I submit my PDF in spreads or individual pages? 

PDFs should always be submitted in single pages in the order they’ll be read. Learn more: Reader’s Spread vs. Printer’s Spread

What is the minimum and maximum number of pages my booklet mailer can have?

Your custom mailer must have a minimum of eight pages. The maximum number of pages any booklet can have is 64 pages. However, the maximum page count can vary depending on the paper weight you choose.

For custom books measuring 9” x 12” or larger, the maximum number of pages is 36. Learn more: Booklet Printing

Are there design guidelines for the address field?

Yes:

  • The address, return address and postage placement should read parallel with the longest edge of the mailer. 
  • If a return address is included, it must be located 1/4” from the top left side of the mailer.
  • The top of the mailing address cannot be placed higher than 2-3/4” from the bottom of the mailer.

Learn more: Booklet Mailing Design Guidelines

Are there other design guidelines I should follow?

Yes. We have design guidelines for your mailing pieces that will ensure the USPS accepts them and enhance the likelihood they’re delivered successfully to intended recipients. Learn more: Booklet Mailer Template, Mailing Design Guidelines

Are there different binding options?

Yes. We offer two different binding options for custom book printing:

  • Saddle Stitch
    • Pages are arranged, collated and folded in half.
    • Two staples are then added at the crease to hold the folded pages together.
  • Saddle Stitch with Square Backing
    • Saddle stitching with the additional step of square backing.
    • Pressure is applied to ‘square’ the spine. 
    • This helps to create a flat, square spine, similar to perfect binding. 

Note: Square backing is only available up to 12″ on the bound side and on books with 1/8″ to 1/4″ spine width.

Can I add a coating to my booklets?

Yes. You can finish the cover of your booklet with gloss or matte UV coating on one or two sides. Learn more: Printing with UV Coating

Can you print variable data?

Yes. Part of our online printing services, Variable Data Printing lets you personalize your booklets with recipients’ addresses, names, barcodes, QR codes, customer IDs and more. 

Note: VDP can be placed in one area in your booklet. If you’d like to add variable data to multiple places, please request a Custom Quote.

Learn more: Variable Data Printing

Can you mail my booklets?

Yes. We offer complete mail fulfillment for your direct mail marketing pieces, from addressing to list acquisition and list processing. You can even use our mailing permit or your own. Learn more: About Direct Mail, Mailing and Addressing Services, List Processing, Mailing Permits   

Do my mailers need envelopes?

No. However, wafer seals are required for the postal service on mailers not placed in an envelope. Also known as tabs or closures, we recommend three tabs for mailing booklets. 

Direct Mail Cards and Envelopes

Direct mail card and envelope

What sizes are available?

You can design Direct Mail Cards and Envelopes for online printing in four predetermined sizes: 

  • 6-3/4″W x 5”H
  • 6-3/4″W x 10”H
  • 8-1/2″W x 5-1/2″H
  • 8-1/2″W x 11”H

What paper stocks and weights are available?

As a premium online printer, our custom cards are available in premium coated, uncoated and recycled paper stocks and various point weights (the larger the number, the heavier the stock). Our envelopes are available in uncoated smooth or plain white stocks.

Learn more: Small Format Paper Stocks, Coated Paper Stocks vs. Uncoated Paper Stocks, Recycled Paper Stocks, Text Weight vs. Cover Weight

What do the different ink choices mean?

We offer a variety of ink choices for your print project. We recommend:

  • Black Only – For designs with no color.
  • Full Color – For designs with a wide range of colors.
  • Full Color + Spot White – If you want a white layer of ink printed in designated areas of your full color design.
  • White Only – If you do not want any color (or black) within your design. 

Learn more: Color, Black vs. Full-Color Printing, White Ink Printing

Can cards be printed double-sided?

Yes. You can print your own cards with black or full-color ink on the front, back or both. Just use the Printing on the Front and Printing on the Back dropdowns on the product page. Learn more: Black vs. Full-Color Printing

Can I add a coating to my cards?

Yes. You can finish your card printing with gloss or matte UV coating on one or two sides, as part of our online printing services. Learn more: Printing with UV Coating

What mailing and addressing options are there?

We offer complete mail fulfillment, from addressing to list acquisition and list processing. You can even use our mailing permit or your own. Learn more: About Direct Mail, Mailing and Addressing Services, List Processing, Mailing Permits   

Are there guidelines I should follow for mailing?

Yes. We lay out all the design guidelines you should follow to ensure your envelopes are accepted and processed by the postal service, including dimensions for text and imagery, return address placement and more. Learn more: Envelope Mailing & Design Guidelines

Direct Mail Newsletters

Direct mail newsletter

What sizes are available?

You can design Direct Mail Newsletters for online printing in the standard 8-1/2″W x 11”H size.

For mailing, does my newsletter need to be a specific size?

For mailing at Letter rates, your custom newsletter must meet these dimension requirements:

  • When folded, have a minimum height of 3-1/2” and a maximum height of 6”. 
  • When folded, have a minimum length of 5” and a maximum length of 10-1/2”.
  • Note: The length is the measurement of the side parallel to the address.

To be eligible for Letter rates, all finished folds must fall within the standard postal aspect ratio (the length divided by the height must equal less than 1.3). 

If you’d like a newsletter larger than 6”H x 10-1/2″L, please request a Custom Quote. Anything larger than this will be subject to Flat postage rates. Square newsletters larger than 6”H x 6”L mail at Flat rates and are not subject to additional fees.

What paper stocks and weights are available?

Our newsletters are available in premium coated paper stocks, as well as flexible text weights. Learn more: Small Format Paper Stocks, Coated Paper Stocks vs. Uncoated Paper Stocks, Text Weight vs. Cover Weight

How many pages can my newsletter have?

You can design and print your own newsletters with up to 20 pages (including the cover), depending on the paper weight you choose:

  • 8-12 pages: Paper stock weight up to 100# text
  • 16 pages: Paper stock weight up to 80# text
  • 20 pages: Paper stock weight up to 70# text

Are there design guidelines for the address field?

Yes. The delivery address must be parallel to the shorter dimension of the mail piece and parallel to the closed bottom edge.

Learn more: Folded Mailer Mailing Design Guidelines

Are there different binding options?

Yes. As a premium online printer, we offer two different fold options for newsletter printing:

  • Saddle Stitch
    • For higher page counts.
    • Pages are arranged, collated and folded in half.
    • Two staples hold pages together at the crease.
  • Folded, Not Stapled
    • For lower page counts.
    • Pages are arranged, collated and folded.

Can you print variable data?

Yes. Part of our online printing services, Variable Data Printing lets you personalize your newsletters with recipients’ addresses, names, barcodes, QR codes, customer IDs and more. Learn more: Variable Data Printing

Can you mail my newsletters?

Yes. We offer complete mail fulfillment, from addressing to list acquisition and list processing. You can even use our mailing permit or your own. Learn more: About Direct Mail, Mailing and Addressing Services, List Processing, Mailing Permits   

Do my newsletters need envelopes?

No. However, wafer seals are required for the postal service on folded self-mailers not placed in an envelope. Also known as tabs or closures, we recommend three tabs for mailing newsletters.

Direct Mail Postcards

Direct Mail Postcard Printing

What sizes are available?

You can design custom Direct Mail Postcards for online printing in our predetermined sizes or use custom dimensions. When you enter your desired dimensions in the Finished Size fields on the product page, a notification will alert you if they are outside our parameters. In that case, you can request a Custom Quote.

If I want to mail my postcard, does it need to be a specific size?

For mailing, your postcard must be rectangular and meet these dimension requirements:

  • Be at least 5”W x 3-1/2”H.
  • To qualify for First Class rates, it can be no larger than 6”W x 4-1/4″H.
  • To qualify for Standard rates, it can be no larger than 11-1/2″W x 6-1/8″H.
  • Note: The length is the measurement of the side parallel to the address.

What paper stocks and weights are available?

As a premium online printer, our postcard printing is available in premium coated paper stocks and stiff, rigid point weights (the larger the number, the heavier the stock). Learn more: Small Format Paper Stocks, Coated Paper Stocks vs. Uncoated Paper Stocks, Text Weight vs. Cover Weight

Can postcards be printed double-sided?

Yes. You can print postcard mailers with black or full-color ink on the front, back or both. Just use the Printing on the Front and Printing on the Back dropdowns on the product page. Learn more: Black vs. Full-Color Printing

Are there design guidelines for the address field?

Yes. The address field must be 1/2” from the left and right edge of the postcard, 3/4” from the bottom and 2-1/8” tall. You can place the address anywhere within that specific space. If a return address is included, it must be located 1/4” from the top and left side of the postcard. Learn more: Direct Mail Postcard Template, Postcard Mailing Design Guidelines

Can I add a coating to my postcards?

Yes. You can finish your custom postcards with gloss or matte UV coating on one or two sides. Learn more: Printing with UV Coating

Can you print variable data?

Yes. Part of our online printing services, variable data printing lets you personalize your postcards with recipients’ addresses, names, barcodes, QR codes, customer IDs and more. Learn more: Variable Data Printing

Can you mail my postcards?

Yes. We offer complete mail fulfillment for your direct mail marketing pieces, from addressing to list acquisition and list processing. You can even use our mailing permit or your own. Learn more: About Direct Mail, Mailing and Addressing Services, List Processing, Mailing Permits

Folded Self-Mailers

Direct Mail Printing

What sizes are available?

You can design Folded Self-Mailers for online printing in our predetermined sizes or use custom dimensions. When you enter your desired dimensions in the Unfolded Size fields on the product page, a notification will alert you if they are outside our parameters. In that case, you can request a Custom Quote.

For mailing, does my self-mailer need to be a specific size?

For mailing, your mailer must be rectangular and meet these dimension requirements:

  • When folded, have a minimum height of 3-1/2” and a maximum height of 6”.
  • When folded, have a minimum length of 5” and a maximum length is 10-1/2”.
  • Note: The length is the measurement of the side parallel to the address.

If your mailer falls outside of these parameters, additional postage will be required.

What paper stocks and weights are available?

Our direct mailers are available in premium coated paper stocks, as well as flexible text weights and stiff, rigid cover weights. Learn more: Small Format Paper Stocks, Coated Paper Stocks vs. Uncoated Paper Stocks, Text Weight vs. Cover Weight

Are there different fold options?

Yes. As a premium online printer, we offer many different fold options. We recommend using a cover stock for one or two folds and text stock for three or more. Learn more: Folding Ideas

Can custom mailers be printed double-sided?

Yes. You can print folded mailers with black or full-color ink on the front, back or both. Just use the Printing on the Front and Printing on the Back dropdowns on the product page. Learn more: Black vs. Full-Color Printing

Are there design guidelines for the address field?

Yes. There are a few:

  • Your address, the return address and postage placement should read parallel with the longest edge of the mailer.
  • If a return address is included, it must be located 1/4” from the top left side of the mailer.
  • The top of the mailing address cannot be placed higher than 2-3/4” from the bottom of the mailer.

Learn more: Self-Mailer Mailing Design Guidelines

Can I add a coating to my self-mailers?

Yes. You can finish your marketing mailers with gloss or matte UV coating on one or two sides. Learn more: Printing with UV Coating

What’s the difference between simple and complex digital laser cutting?

Choose simple die cutting for shapes like circles, ovals, squares and rectangles. Choose complex die cutting for any shapes or cuts more intricate than that.

Can you print variable data?

Yes. Part of our online printing services, variable data printing lets you personalize your mailers with recipients’ addresses, names, barcodes, QR codes, customer IDs and more. Learn more: Variable Data Printing

Are there design guidelines I should follow?

Yes. We have design guidelines for your mailing pieces that will ensure the USPS accepts them and enhance the likelihood they’re delivered successfully to intended recipients. Learn more: Folded Self-Mailer Template, Mailing Design Guidelines

Can you mail my direct mailers?

Yes. We offer complete mail fulfillment, from addressing to list acquisition and list processing. You can even use our mailing permit or your own. Learn more: About Direct Mail, Mailing and Addressing Services, List Processing, Mailing Permits

Do my mailers need envelopes?

No. However, wafer seals are required for the postal service on folded self-mailers not placed in an envelope. Also known as tabs or closures, we recommend two tabs for mailing.

Letter Mailers

Letter mailer

What sizes are available?

You can design Letter Mailers for online printing in the standard 8-1/2″W x 11”H size. They include a #10 closed-face envelope.

What paper stocks and weights are available?

Our letter mailers are available in uncoated paper stock, as well as flexible text weights. Learn more: Small Format Paper Stocks, Coated Paper Stocks vs. Uncoated Paper Stocks, Text Weight vs. Cover Weight

How many pages can my letters be?

You can design and print your own letters with up to three sheets of paper.

Can letter mailers be printed double-sided?

Yes. You can print letters with black or full-color ink on the front, back or both. Just use the Printing on the Front and Printing on the Back dropdowns on the product page. Learn more: Black vs. Full-Color Printing

Can you print variable data?

Yes. Part of our online printing services, Variable Data Printing lets you personalize your mailers with recipients’ addresses, names, barcodes, QR codes, customer IDs and more. Learn more: Variable Data Printing

Are there guidelines I should follow for mailing?

Yes. As a premium online printer, we lay out all the design guidelines you should follow to ensure your letters and envelopes are accepted and processed by the postal service, including dimensions for text and imagery, return address placement and more. Learn more: Envelope Mailing & Design Guidelines

Can you mail my letters?

Yes. We offer complete mail fulfillment, from addressing to list acquisition and list processing. You can even use our mailing permit or your own. Learn more: About Direct Mail, Mailing and Addressing Services, List Processing, Mailing Permits   

Do you offer reply envelopes?

Yes. Our Letter Mailers w/ Reply Envelopes include #9 reply envelopes to make it easy for recipients to respond.

Do you offer window envelopes?

Yes. If you’d like a window envelope with your mailer, please see our Window Letter Mailers or Window Letter Mailers w/ Reply Envelopes, which include #9 reply envelopes.

If you have questions about these direct mail printing FAQ or other printing services, please contact customer service.