Tabbing
 
Tabbing & Wafer Sealing...  the Doors to Automation Rate Mailing
 
With a continuum of increasing costs in the postal rates, it is the obligation of every operation to achieve the lowest rates available through automated mailing processes. The United States Postal System defines this as Automation Rate Mailing which ultimately is defined by the designer of the mail piece as "Dollars in My Back Pocket."

Case in point: 1) a non-automation mail rate for a basic letter-size mailer is currently $0.235 per piece as opposed to a mere $0.183 for a piece that has been designed for automation, and 2) a non-profit, non-automation mail rate for a basic letter-size mailer is $0.169 per piece as opposed to a mere $0.119 for a piece that has been designed for automation. It becomes very evident that Automation Rate Mailing is everyone's door to driving more dollars to the bottom line! 

Postal rates can be improved considerably if mailers are "machinable." Machinable means that mail is of the right size and shape and made of the correct material for transporting at high speeds through the Postal Services' automated processing system.

Unenveloped mail pieces, or "self-mailers," prepared for an automation rate mailing, must be tabbed to prevent an open edge from jamming high-speed processing equipment. Standards for tabs are based on basis weight of paper stock used for the mail piece and the location of the folded or bound edge. Even tape and glue are permissible, but neither are as clean or professional as a tab or wafer seal.

The description of Tabs and Wafer Seals in Section 811 of the U.S. Postal's Quick Reference Guide provides guidelines for the most common types of mailers and the requirements for tabbing of these mailers. They are as follows:

1. Double cards with the fold on the top or bottom require 1 tab in the center.
2. Folded self-mailers with single sheets with the fold at the top or bottom require 2 tabs within 1 inch from both sides of the piece.
3. Folded self-mailers with multiple sheets with the fold to the bottom require 1 tab in the center.
4. Folded self-mailers with single sheets with the fold to the bottom and right require 1 tab in the center.
5. Booklets with multiple sheets and a cover with the fold to the bottom require 2 tabs within 1 inch from both sides of the piece.
6. Accordion folded pieces with multiple or single sheets


 
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