Envelope FAQs

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BUSINESS REPLY MAIL

Many businesses find the use of business reply envelopes to be of great value in obtaining fast and convenient replies, orders, or payments from customers. Following is a condensation of postal regulations governing the use of business reply envelopes:

  1. An annual permit fee ($85.00) must be paid on a yearly basis. When fee is paid, user will be assigned a Permit No. which must be printed on all business reply mail envelopes (see illustration).
  2. Facing Identification Marks (FIM Marks) must be printed in a prescribed location on all business reply envelopes (see illustration).
  3. The postal service will upon request provide customers with a unique bar code for identifying business reply envelopes with the new 9-digit Zip Code.
  4. A surcharge of 44c per piece plus first-class postage is made on each business reply envelope delivered. If envelopes do not meet the “letter-mail” size standards, an additional 11c surcharge is made.
  5. If a user expects to receive more than 625 pieces of business reply mail within each calendar year, then it would be wise to establish an advance trust account with his post office ($205 annual fee). This reduces the per-piece postage surcharge from 44c to 10c.
  6. The BRMAS System (Business Reply Mail Accounting System) enables a user to further reduce the per-piece postal surcharge from 10c to 2c if the following requirements are met:
    1. Mailer must submit a letter to his local Postmaster requesting to participate in the BRMAS program;
    2. Mailer must submit two pre-production sample BRM pieces showing the proper ZIP +4 codes, barcodes, and other BRMAS required markings;
    3. Payment of an annual permit and accounting fee of $205

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ANATOMY OF AN ENVELOPE

A standard diagonal seam envelope is the most common style envelope in use today. Its parts are basically the same regardless of its size or name. The corners, flaps, shoulders, throat, seal and seams may vary slightly in size, curvature or shape in different makes and models.

To help you understand the terms used by envelope manufacturers, we have illustrated a basic diagonal seam envelope showing the most common terms applied to its parts. These terms are used regardless of its style diagonal, side or center seam open end or open side.

In the glossary you will find additional terms defined that will help you know envelopes better. We hope you will take a few minutes of your valuable time to read and become familiar with them.
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HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT ENVELOPE EVERY TIME

Selecting the right envelope for each type of mailing and using it effectively need not be difficult. Required is only a basic understanding of envelope construction, paper, and graphics. Immediate considerations include: the size and content of the material involved, how it is to be mailed, how the postage will be paid, and whether a reply is desired. To make an informed selection, be guided by the following criteria.

Enclosures Envelope Styles
Personal Letters Bond or White Wove, Commercial and Official (Regular and Self-Seal)
Processed Letters and Circulars Bond, White Wove, Colored Wove, Manila, Commercial and Official
Broadsides Booklet Envelopes, Flat Mailers, Open Ends (Regular and Self-Seal)
Booklets Booklet Envelopes, Clasp, String and Button, Open Ends (Regular and Self-Seal)
Magazines Booklet Envelopes, Open Ends, Clasp
Catalogs Clasp, String and Button, Open Ends (Regular and Self-Seal)
Reply Envelopes Colored Wove, Commercial and Official

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SHOULD YOU CONSIDER A CUSTOM ENVELOPE?

Where a particular enclosure need exists, or when a routine job requires special handling, a custom envelope may be indicated. Or perhaps choosing one of a dozen specialized envelopes would be more suitable. For a completely new design, or the adaptation of an existing envelope, there is virtually no limit to the variety of styles that can be produced in any size for any purpose. In addition to standard envelopes, most converters usually have hundreds of non-standard dies on file which are adaptable to new applications at surprisingly little cost.
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TYPES OF SPECIALIZED ENVELOPES

  • Business Mailer
  • Drive-In Banking
  • File-Velope
  • Squares
  • Jumbo
    • Hitch-Hiker #1 and #2
    • Latex Seal
    • M-1 Coupon
    • Peel n’ Seel
    • Flip n’ Stic

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GLOSSARY OF ENVELOPE TERMS

Here are some of the most widely used terms in the envelope industry. It is recommended you familiarize yourself with these terms so that you may better understand their connection with envelopes.

  • BARONIAL

    A style of envelope that has a large pointed seal flap. This style envelope is usually close to being square; however, the flap and paper used are the most distinguishing features. The most common present usage is for greeting cards or social stationery. The name Baronial is derived from “baron” which signifies a high social standing.

  • BUSINESS REPLY or RETURN ENVELOPE

    These two envelopes can be any style or size. The distinct difference between them is – “Who pays the postage?” Business REPLY is referred to as the envelope that has a pre-printed First-Class Permit and return address on it and the original sender pays for its return. The Business RETURN has a pre-printed return address but the individual returning the envelope must apply postage. The most commonly used envelopes for either purpose are the commercial style 6 1/4, 6 3/4, or 9. Another frequently used-style is the remittance flap (Collection) style.

  • CATALOG

    All envelopes with the “open end” flap are called catalog.

  • CENTER SEAM

    Is the permanent seam that is located approximately in the center of the envelope running from the bottom fold and seam up through the envelope and terminates at the throat.

  • COMMERCIAL STYLE

    These are the most common business style envelopes. They are “open side” of diagonal or side seam construction. Applies to a wide range of sizes from 6 1/4 through 14 – both regulars and window envelopes.

  • COUNTED DOWN

    A term applied to envelopes when their flaps are folded down against the back of the envelope. Most envelopes are packed in boxes in this fashion. It is opposed to flaps extended.

  • CUT OUT

    The term applied to an envelope having a panel or panels cut out of the face or back or both and not having a covering over the panels.

  • DIAGONAL SEAM

    A seam running diagonally from the bottom fold and corner upward toward the throat of the envelope.

  • FLAPS EXTENDED

    This term is used to describe a condition of leaving the seal flaps in a vertical position (not folded down).

  • FLAPS FOLDED DOWN

    A term applied to envelopes when their flaps are folded down against the back of the envelope. Most envelopes re packed in boxes in this fashion. It is oppose to flaps extended.

  • LATEX SEAL

    It is a self-sealing adhesive that requires NO moisture. Two gum surfaces are required to create a bond when they are brought together.

  • OPEN END

    A style of envelope on which the opening is on the shorter side. All open end envelopes are called catalog or coin envelopes.

  • OPEN SIDE

    A style of envelope on which the opening is on the longer side. All commercials are open side.

  • REGULAR

    A style of Commercial, Official or Bankers Flap envelope which does NOT have a window panel cut in it.

  • REMITTANCE

    A large style seal flap of approximately the same size and shape of the envelope itself.

  • SEAL GUM

    There are two types Both are used on the seal flaps of the envelopes. RE-MOISTENING type which requires moisture to achieve a seal.

  • NON-RE-MOISTENING

    type which requires two surfaces of gum and no water to achieve a seal.

  • SIDE SEAM

    Is an envelope seam that runs almost parallel to the side fold.

  • SIDE SEAM OVER

    The term applied to the side seam when it folds UNDER the back flap.

  • SPOT-LITE

    Any style envelope having a panel or panels cut out of its face and/or back which permits viewing a portion of the contents. These panels may or may not be covered. Spot-lites are sometimes known as windows, outlooks or cutouts.

  • SQUARE FLAP

    A style of flap with straight edges and rectangular corners. These are used on A-Style envelopes and square envelopes.

  • WALLET FLAP

    A large style seal flap of approximately the same size and shape of the envelope itself.

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