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Business Reply Envelopes

Business Reply Mail (BRM) is a service from the U.S. Postal Service in which a sender provides a prepaid postage envelope or card to the recipient. Business Reply Envelopes or postcards can help you get paid on time, of course, but they can also be used in a variety of ways. They are often used by companies and businesses for marketing purposes. The company sends a postcard or an envelope to prospects who then fill out the information and send it back in to the company at no cost to them. A permit is required from the US Postal Service in order to send business reply mail. There is a permit fee and the cost of printing the postcard or envelope involved. But, business reply mail encourages customers to reply directly to you and gives them a way to give feedback or put in an order without any additional fee for them. Business Reply Mail is a valuable part of a direct mail campaign. Giving customers multiple ways to respond to an offer is a way to boost overall response rates. And in that same vein, Business Reply Mail is an important service for USPS, as it enhances mail’s value.

The best reasons for using Business Reply mail are that there is no need to search for a stamp! This type of mail is measurable and it gives you the ability to track the success of your campaign or business offerings. It is an effective way to seek survey responses or solicit subscriptions to groups, magazines or organizations. It delivers your message or business offer more effectively. And, 79% of consumers react to this direct mail. Your customers are worth it!

The most frequently seen practical examples of the use of Business Reply Mail is for sales responses, or new business solicitation. Nonprofit organizations are probably the best candidates for a Business Reply Permit. They use them for fund raising and membership drives. But, businesses that regularly mail product offerings to existing clients or new prospects are good candidates too. Companies that offer magazines subscription cards that potential subscribers can return by freepost use Business Reply Mail postcards often. Then there are sellers of merchandise that include a Business Reply Card with each sale in case you have to return the purchase to the seller. Other uses include customer surveys, product registrations, bill payment, non-governmental voting (private organizations, business stock proxy), audit confirmation, business receipts or documents, and membership/subscription renewal.

These types of business envelopes need to be properly filled out so the postal service and the recipients know what you are sending them and why. Envelopes should be rectangular and measure 5 ½” long and 3 ½” high and 0.007” thick. The largest envelope that you can send is 11 1/2″ long and 6 1/8″ high and 1/4″ thick. Letters that exceed one of these dimensions will be charged the flat size price. Maximum weight is 2 oz.

There are other requirements for business reply envelopes that need to be placed besides just the specific measurements. The words “Business Reply Mail” needs to be written above the address in capital letters and the size should be a minimum of 3/16”. This is so that it can be read easily. You will also have to have the words “First Class Mail Permit No.” with your permit number, city and state printed below the business reply mail box. “Postage Will Be Paid By Addressee” should be written under the business reply legend box.

Include your company logo on the left side of the envelope next to the address. But, this can not be higher that the first line of the address text box. You will also need a postal barcode which is called a FIM or Facing Identification Mark. This is used to track the mail. It is required for all business reply envelopes. The FIM is located on the bottom part of the envelope.

“No Postage Necessary If Mailed In the United States” must be written on the top right corner of your business reply envelope. This should be placed no further than 1 ¾” from the right edge of the envelope and the text box should be a square frame looking somewhat like a stamp. Next, print a series of horizontal bars immediately below the No Postage box. These bars must be uniform in size, at least 1″ in length, 1/16″ to 3/16″ in thickness and evenly spaced. The bars cannot extend below the delivery address line, which is located directly above the line containing the city, state and ZIP Code. There must be at least 1/2″ clearance between the ZIP Code and the horizontal bars.

And finally, you need to add a barcode to your business mail to the right side of envelope, to represent your 9 digit ZIP + 4, code. You can get the camera ready positive at the postal office to use it on your business correspondence. You barcode can’t extend lower than the last line of your address, or higher than the POSTAGE WILL BE PAID sign, and it must cover the whole area designed for its purpose.