Direct Mailer Specifications and Postal Regulations

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Preparing Your Direct Mail Files

If you have not already done so, please review our guide to Preparing Your Files for acceptable file types and file specifications. This page covers important terminology and file setup, including:

  • Bleeds, inner margins and trim size
  • CMYK color and color matching standards
  • Image resolution and dpi
  • Embedded fonts and linked files
  • Copyrighted images and other content
  • PDF and printed proofs

Following these basic design specifications will ensure that your order moves through production without delay, that your order prints as you intend, and that your postcard meets the necessary USPS guidelines for mailing.

US Postal Service Regulations for Mailing

When using our mailing services, the USPS requires that certain areas of the mail piece be left white for addressing, postage and bar coding. This includes background color, text and any photos/images. The dimensions and exclusions vary based on the particular direct mail piece you choose, so please adhere to the exclusion areas defined in the layouts below.

Envelope Letter Mailer

Set the dimensions of your design to: 8.75" x 11.25"

The final trim size will be: 8.5" x 11"
The final folded size will be: 3.67" x 8.5"

Inner Margin (design area): 0.25" within the trim line

  • As trim lines may vary slightly, keep any text or graphics that you want to preserve within design area.
Bleed: 0.125" beyond trim edge
  • If you want your background to print to the edge of your design, extend any background images or colors beyond the trim line.

Downloadable Starter Files:

Microsoft Publisher: Download
Apple Pages: Download
PNG: Download
Adobe PDF: Download

Starter File Instructions

Tri-Fold Mailer

Set the dimensions of your design to: 8.5" x 11."

The final trim size will be: 8.5" x 11"
The final folded size will be: 3.67" x 8.5"

Inner Margin (design area): 0.25" within the trim line

  • As trim lines may vary slightly, keep any text or graphics that you want to preserve within design area.
Bleed: 0.125" beyond trim edge
  • If you want your background to print to the edge of your design, extend any background images or colors beyond the trim line.
Tabs: Two sealing tabs will be used on the open end of the tri-fold, not farther than one inch from each edge. See layout specs for details.

Downloadable Starter Files:

Microsoft Publisher: 2-page
Apple Pages: 2-page
PNG: Front | Back
Adobe PDF: 2-page | Front | Back

Starter File Instructions

Bi-Fold Mailer

Set the dimensions of your design to: 8.75 x 11.25”

The final trim size will be: 8.5” x 11”
The final folded size will be: 5.5” x 8.5”

Inner Margin (design area): 0.25" within the trim line

  • As trim lines may vary slightly, keep any text or graphics that you want to preserve within design area.
Bleed: 0.125" beyond trim edge
  • If you want your background to print to the edge of your design, extend any background images or colors beyond the trim line.
Tabs: Two sealing tabs will be used on the open end of the tri-fold, not farther than one inch from each edge. See layout specs for details.

Downloadable Starter Files:

Microsoft Publisher: 2-page
Apple Pages: 2-page
PNG: Front | Back
Adobe PDF: 2-page | Front | Back

Starter File Instructions

Greeting Card Mailer

Set the dimensions of your design to: 6.5" x 9.25"

The final trim size will be: 6.25" x 9" (flat) / 6.25" x 4.5" (folded)

Inner Margin (design area): 0.25" within the trim line
  • As trim lines may vary slightly, keep any text or graphics that you want to preserve within design area.
Bleed: 0.125" beyond trim edge
  • If you want your background to print to the edge of your design, extend any background images or colors beyond the trim line.

Downloadable Starter Files:

Microsoft Publisher: 2-page
Apple Pages: 2-page
PNG: Front | Back
Adobe PDF: Front | Back

Starter File Instructions

Print and Mail Postcards

Expresscopy.com offers 5 different postcard sizes as well as 1st-Class Postage, Standard Bulk Mail, and Every Door Direct Mail postage options. For a complete review of our print and mail postcard specifications click here.


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