Mail On Mailbox Shows Mail PostWhen you’re putting together a campaign that includes dimensional (non-flat) admail, it’s really easy to get caught up in the wonderful work your designers come up with. So easy that you might not even think about how much it’s going to cost to get each of these masterpieces into the hands of your intended recipients.

And if you’re not careful your initial high, will be followed by a very bad cost hangover. But Canada Post has a special set of dimensional and oversize admail specs to help you get it right so that mail samples, larger promotional items and other non-standard items like a thick catalog (remember those?) are budgeted properly from before the very first concept meeting.  

At this point you may be wondering what kind of admail would fall into this category.  As just one example we once mailed thousands of colouring books with a crayon pack attached for an family van promotion once that fell into this category.  There have also been digital thumb drives containing video and links to sites, samples of cosmetics, funky high-end invitations to explore a new service…you get the point. Basically it could be anything that contains branded premiums that are more like parcels than envelopes.

Here’s a quick primer with 3 things to consider while you plan.

#1 Keep your ruler handy
Here is a quick postage comparison chart for a 250 gram mail item.

$3.76 – a 250 gram item thicker than 1.4 inches at Full Lettermail Rate (with indicia)

$2.12 – same item but mailed at Special Handling Dimensional Admail Rate

$1.28 – same weight but thinner (between 0.2” and 1.4”)

What this tells you is that you can save a lot of money in postage with some pre-planning about the weights and thicknesses of your mail package.  If it is just a bit over 1.4 inches it will jump into the next, more costly, category.

Size Chart for Dimensional Mail

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#2 Is it worth it’s weight in gold?
Don’t exceed 500g or you’ll become a full fledged parcel and your postal rates can increase 3 to 5 times depending on where you mail.  Parcels are fully tracked and usually the cost to ship with this rate is prohibitive for promotional mailings.

#3 Some assembly is probably required
You’ll be using unusual, often manual, packing and assembly processes to mail something that is this large.  The typical automated envelope inserters are just not built to handle this so it is a good idea to consider the labour and time factor.  10,000 envelopes on a fast inserter can be completed in an hour.  10,000 crayon packs and colouring books assembled in a bubble envelope with a personalized letter matched to an outer label might take 80 hours.  Even the packaging materials themselves are often several times more expensive or custom made to fit the samples.  Your reward will be a successful ROI.  Having a catalog to drive customers to online purchases, a physical sample in hand, a cosmetic to test, or a child playing with your branded colouring book for a few days around the house, will pay off in a well planned dimensional admail campaign.

For more information you can consult the Canada Post Guide for Admail or call me and I’ll help you navigate your way through.  I’ve just given a snapshot here and there are other considerations around length and width and content that can also impact your project.