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  Mailpiece Design Analyst
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  ABRM Tool-Create Reply Mail Artwork
     
  Additional Resources

 

 

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Mailpiece Design
   
 

Introduction

The most basic component of any mailing is the mailpiece itself. A single mailing may consist of hundreds or millions of mailpieces. A properly designed mailpiece qualifies for the best postage rate possible! Properly designed mailpieces will help you avoid unanticipated costs and ensure accurate delivery.

The informative links on this page will help you understand the Postal Service's Business Reply and Courtesy Reply design requirements and will help you design reply mailpieces to qualify for postal discounts. These links will aid printers, graphic artists, form designers, and envelope manufacturers in creating Reply Mail. They are also useful for small and large businesses handling their own mailing campaigns. If you affect the design process for Reply Mail, explore these informative links.

The USPS offers an online self-service tool that allows customers to create approved USPS camera-ready artwork for domestic Reply Mail pieces in just a few steps. The USPS Automated Business Reply Mail® (ABRM) application is a web-based, self-service tool to assist Reply Mail customers in creating domestic Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM)™, Business Reply Mail (BRM) ®, and Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM)™ artwork for card and letter-size mailpieces.

The ABRM tool allows customers to design and create approved USPS camera-ready artwork with an Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb). Customers can then place their IMb either above the address block or in the barcode clear zone (lower right corner) of the piece and can even add an image or logo related to the mailpiece. Artwork files can be downloaded in PDF and EPS formats and these files can be stored in the system library for future use. Another exciting feature of the ABRM tool allows the customer to authorize a third-party vendor or service provider to create artwork on their behalf. Clients must provide pertinent information to their service provider such as their PostalOne! BRM permit number, Mailer ID and assigned BRM ZIP+4 Code.

To access the ABRM tool follow this link: https://www.usps.com/business/reply-mail-solutions.htm.

In addition to the ABRM tool, the USPS has implemented the MDA Support Center. This center connects customers with a Mailpiece Design Analyst who will provide timely assistance and evaluations of mailpiece design, including Reply Mail.

The MDA Support Center hours of operation are Monday through Friday, between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm CST. Customers may contact the MDA Support Center by dialing 855-593-6093, or by sending a request via email to mda@usps.gov.

Business Reply Mail Templates
These Business Reply Mail (BRM) templates are perfect for standard business sizes of letters and postcards. Just download the template you need, input your address, unique ZIP+4 and corresponding barcode, and BRM permit number and you will have a perfect finished proof in just minutes.

The Postal Service has designed the reply templates to meet all spacing and positioning requirements if used for the correct standard size mailpiece. Caution: you must know your assigned BRM ZIP+4 Code and permit number to proceed. You will also need to create and import the corresponding barcode for your BRM ZIP+4 Code. Barcodes can be created from a number of commercially available programs.

Courtesy Reply Mail Templates
These Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM) templates are perfect for standard business sizes of letters and postcards. Just download the template you need, input your address, ZIP+4 Code and corresponding barcode, and you will have a perfect finished proof in just minutes. Barcodes can be created from a number of commercially available programs.

For assistance with design questions and reviews, please contact a Mailpiece Design Analyst by calling the MDA Support Center at 855-593-6093 or sending an email to mda@usps.gov.

Mailpiece Design Analyst
Mailpiece Design Analysts (MDA) are specially trained postal employees who can answer your questions regarding mailpiece design, including Reply Mail. These employees provide advice and evaluate mailpieces for automation compatibility and automation-based prices. MDAs provide technical assistance on mailpiece design to envelope manufacturers, printers, advertising agencies, and graphic designers.

Mailpiece Design Analysts are available to:
• Test paper and actual mailpiece samples for acceptable thickness, background color, flexibility, rigidity, and barcode print tolerances, etc.
• Assist you to navigate the Automated Business Reply Mail (ABRM) tool so that you can successfully generate your own artwork and include an Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb).
• Review and approve vendor-prepared "privately printed" forms for USPS special services.
• Analyze the readability and automation compatibility of prospective or actual reply mailpieces.

Mailpiece Design Professional (MDP) Course

MDP Online is the only mailpiece design certification program approved by the Postal Service. This self-paced course is available online at nced.com/bma/. This course is ideal for employees of mail preparers who wish to maximize their proficiency in designing letter-size and flat-size mail to meet USPS standards and obtain certification as a Mailpiece Design Professional. The course includes:

  • Postal addressing standards
  • Class of mail and processing categories
  • Intelligent Mail® barcoding formats & print specifications
  • Designing automation letters (tabbing, polywrap, deflection, flexibility, etc.)
  • Reply mail (BRM, CRM, MRM, PRM, MRS)
The certification exam is taken at the participant's convenience.

Additional Resources
The Postal Service provides plastic templates and numerous informative publications concerning mailpiece design. This link provides on-line access to these valuable resources. These publications and templates can be used by themselves, or as resources for the Mailpiece Design Professional course.