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Old 12th October 2010, 04:30 PM   #1
bradleyb
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Default Standard Mail - Flats

We've been doing our own direct mail advertising in-house for a few years using postcards and envelopes.

I'd like to try mailing out what's classified as flats by the USPS.

This would be one sheet of paper that's larger than a postcard. The mailing piece would be 8.5"x11"

My question is regarding the weight of paper I should purchase to avoid problems.

I've received political mail this size that felt like very light-weight paper.

From what I've been able to gather - 65lb cover stock or 90lb index paper would work.

Does anyone have any experience in using heavy paper and mailing them as flats?

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Old 13th October 2010, 02:06 AM   #2
hdm
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Good morning, Bradley.

When our overseas consolidators (based in the UK) use the term "flats", they are referring to packs up to C4 size (12.9" x 9.5"), with the total pack weight being under 100gms.

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Old 13th October 2010, 08:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleyb View Post
We've been doing our own direct mail advertising in-house for a few years using postcards and envelopes.

I'd like to try mailing out what's classified as flats by the USPS.

This would be one sheet of paper that's larger than a postcard. The mailing piece would be 8.5"x11"

My question is regarding the weight of paper I should purchase to avoid problems.

I've received political mail this size that felt like very light-weight paper.

From what I've been able to gather - 65lb cover stock or 90lb index paper would work.

Does anyone have any experience in using heavy paper and mailing them as flats?
Am a direct mail house; since 1996. Postal specs are that whatever substrate is used, the minimum thickness is .009" thick. The paper stock you name are minimally sufficient, though to save money on paper may likely cost you as thin papers may not fair well after US POST processes it. It is highly recommended that you use a more substantial paper substrate in the .012-.016" thick range to withstand the rigors and reflect well on you and the company.

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Old 13th October 2010, 08:51 PM   #4
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The paper stock you plan on using is minimally sufficient; .009" thick. I suggest, as a mail house in business since 1996, that you consider something in the .012-.016" thick range. Consult your paper supplier and have a micrometer with you if you want to be sure.

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Old 17th October 2010, 10:45 PM   #5
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Here's the designed mail piece - any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

FRONT

BACK

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Old 18th October 2010, 11:56 AM   #6
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Post Your PDF "Once Over"

For my taste, the use of two human-like faces is one too many. If your face is the bearded one, I suggest that you keep your face on the card and the only human one.
The use, or over use, of the clip art with the "it's easy" sign, gets a bit hokey when used 3X. To use it once is quite sufficient ... I'd remove it from the "coupons" on the address side.
Your phone number needs to be almost neon and you really do need to tell people what you want them to do with that phone number. As crazy as it may be, to use the words "CALL TODAY" or "CAN YOU WAIT ANOTHER MINUTE? CALL NOW" tells them what you want them to do.
As for the installation of Anti-Virus software, the words "...if necessary." is middle of the road wishy-washy ... though a little tweak, such as, "if not already on your PC or out of date" delivers the real message in positive terms or gives them something to do such as check whether they have it or if they do, a message appears letting them know that it is out of date. Either way, you provide them a means to possibly cure their "situation" with little effort on their part and without you coming into the home to do it. A subliminal message is delivered letting them know that you're not necessarily all about the money either!
The two coupons at the foot of your card are okay ideas, but swap them around as the word FREE is more powerful than SAVE $20.
Finally, if that is you with the bearded face, and if you're intention is to mail these large cards to homes only . . . you might not receive a wonderful reception with long curly hair. Actually, you would not receive a reception with many business owners either. Please, get your hair cut and if nothing else, lose the beard ... the mustache can stay as it looks trimmed.
Not sure how many you're mailing, but if you'd like a suggestion as to where to get them at reasonable prices ... please write back.
Do you accept VISA? MasterCard? AMEX? DISCOVER? PAYPAL? If so, you need to tell them that you do!

Sincerely,
Steven L Rost

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Old 18th October 2010, 07:02 PM   #7
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Steven -

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions. Thank you.

I have made several of the changes you recommended and have updated the PDF files at the same links as posted above if you want to check them out.

I'm still trying to find something that will replace the "IT'S EASY" logo on the coupons so those still remain but I will replace those as well when possible.

I'm also interested in your recommendation on where these can be printed. Our budget is tight but I am interested in getting the quote.

I completely agree with you about the telephone and call-to-action on the back-side - it looks so much better than it did.

Again - thank you for your suggestions and your time.

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