As a marketing tool, direct mail is powerful. Insurance companies can leverage direct mail campaigns to great effect, but only when handled properly. If you’re planning your own insurance company direct mail campaign, here are some important guidelines you should keep in mind so that your next marketing campaign results in as much success as possible.
Understanding Mail Categories and Classes
You have to spend money to make money, and the insurance industry is no different. An insurance company’s direct mail campaign will incur costs, and these costs will vary depending on the types of mailers you’re using. However, if you don’t meet USPS guidelines on the size and dimensions of your mailers, you might end up incurring extra costs that you otherwise could have avoided. Here’s what the requirements for the different categories and classes of direct mailers are, according to the United States Postal Service.
- The Postcard: The USPS has some standard requirements for postcards, including being made of cardstock that is at least 0.007 inches in thickness. Additionally, postcards are limited to an aspect ratio of 3.5″ x 5″ at the smallest and 4.25″ by 6″ at the largest. Unlike other types of direct mail, postcards are unique in that they can be sent First Class.
- The Flat: Similar to a large-scale postcard, everything about a flat mailer is bigger. Cardstock must be at least 0.009 inches in thickness. There are no aspect ratio requirements, but a flat can’t be smaller than 6.126″ x 11.51″ or larger than 12″ x 15″.
- The Letter: You likely know what letter size is, but let’s go over the thickness and dimension requirements anyway. Minimum thicknesses for letters are 0.009 inches, while maximum thickness tops out at 0.25 inches. To be considered a letter, your mailer must meet a minimum size requirement of 4.25″ x 6″. Aspect ratios are identical to those for postcards, except the maximum size cannot exceed 6.125″ x 11.5″.
- The Self-Mailer: The US Post Office classifies self-mailers as any piece of cardstock or paper that has been folded in half, with the address information outside the fold and the content inside the fold. Aspect ratio requirements are in line with those the USPS requires for letters and postcards with a minimum size of 3.5″ x 5″ to a maximum size of 6″ x 11.5″. However, weight guidelines for cardstock differ. Self-mailers of 1 ounce in weight or over can be on 70-pound paper or cardstock. If you exceed this weight, then you need to use 80-pound instead.
- The Booklet. Easiest the heftiest direct mail category out there, the booklet is pretty much what you would expect. It consists of sheets or pages bound together in a book format, just like you’ve got on your shelves at home. The cover must be made of paper stock that is either 40-pound weight or 80-pound weight depending on your specific design. Aspect ratios are in line, with a maximum size of 6″ x 10.5″.
Guidelines for Insurance Company Direct Mail Address Labeling
As if creating an insurance company direct mail campaign wasn’t already complicated enough, you also have to ensure you comply with the US Postal Service’s guidelines for labeling addresses properly. Here are what you should keep in mind:
- Flats need an address block in the upper half of your mailer’s shorter edge. The address block needs a barcode and a text-and-UV-coating free area that’s 4” by 2”. You need to ensure that there are at least 0.125 inches of clearance between your flat’s edge and your address block.
- Other types of mailers also require a barcode to be present along with the address. However, you need to position things differently. Your address block needs to be at least 0.5 inches away from the right side of your mailer and 0.625 inches from the bottom of your mailer. Images and text need to be 0.125 inches away from the address at a minimum. Meanwhile, you can’t place the address block more than 3.5 inches from your mailer’s bottom edge. You also can’t have any images, UV coatings, or other text on your address block.
- Secondary options for non-flat mailers include what the USPS calls a “barcode clear zone” for keeping your address block separate from your barcode if you want to, and it’s located in the bottom right of your mailer. Using this option requires you to keep all images, color, and text out clear of your mailer’s 5/8. All the space above that can be used for the rest of your address – as long as you follow the rest of the guidelines above.
Use Las Vegas Color Graphics to Get Your Next Insurance Company Direct Mail Campaign Off the Ground
Does all that sound like a lot of information to keep in mind when designing your direct mailers? Well, that’s because it is. Unless you have an internal marketing department that has the requisite knowledge and expertise in meeting USPS guidelines, you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you. The last thing you want to do is spend time and marketing budget on creating insurance company direct mail marketing materials only to have the Post Office tell you they’re not mail-ready!
In cases like these, it’s important to turn to the experts. Las Vegas Color Graphics, your community print partner, has exactly what you need to pull off your next direct mail marketing campaign perfectly. From prepress and design to all the way to printing and fulfillment, Las Vegas Color Graphics has been providing expert services to businesses in the Las Vegas area for more than 40 years. We know these guidelines like the back of our hand, so you can trust that every mailer we send for you is perfect. Contact us today to learn more!