With the Postalytics latest format offering, you can easily create and personalize 8.5” x14” letter templates, with or without a perforated reply device, directly within the streamlined and intuitive Direct Mail Editor (The Editor).

The Editor allows you to choose between creating templates from scratch or from one of our fully customizable pre-built templates - all created by professional designers. 

Learn more about Pre-Built Templates.

In this article, we’ll navigate through The Editor to create an 8.5” x 14” letter template from scratch - adding text and images, changing fonts and formatting, and using personalization with variable data.

Before we begin, be sure to open and review our help article Understanding the Postalytics Direct Mail Editor. This article explains in detail all of the features within The Editor. And, while you’re becoming familiar with using The Editor, we recommend that you refer to this article while creating any template format.


Outer Envelope

The 8.5”x14” letter mails in our standard #10 white dual window envelopes at no extra cost. If you prefer, you can choose to have it mail in a #10 customized envelope that you design and order in advance through Postalytics.

Reply Envelope

If you choose to include a #9 Courtesy Reply Envelope, it is important to note that these are an additional cost. The #9 is custom printed, with the mailing address of your choice, inline with the letter during the printing process, so there's no need to pre-order them. Direct Mail Credits for reply envelopes can be purchased ahead of time and then selected during the campaign build process, or purchased with your credit card within the campaign build wizard.

Creating Your Direct Mail 8.5” x 14” Letter Template

On the homepage of your Postalytics account, select “New Template” from the “Creative” drop down menu on the top panel. Then select “Create in Editor”.

Begin the steps to start creating your new template by selecting either “Letters 8.5” x 14” or "Letters w/Perforation 8.5” x 14” within the Choose Your Template Type dropdown menu. For the purposes of this article we will select "Letters w/Perforation & Return Envelope 8.5” x 14”.

Once the format is selected, click on “Start Editing”.

Name Your Template

At the top of The Editor is the area to Name Your Template, Save, Save & Close, and Close. When selecting Close, be aware that no changes will be saved. 

Be sure to name your template.

A Few Things About The Editor

Just below the naming section, you’ll see tabs P1,“+”, and “-” at the top left, which indicate the page numbers of your template. 

Selecting the “+” tab will add a page and selecting the “-” tab will remove the last page. 

With multiple pages, you have the option to have content only on the front side of the pages, or double sided, front and back, giving you up to 4 physical pages and up to 8 pages of total content. Learn more about multiple page letters.

To print double sided, click the "Double Sided" option under the Settings drop down menu. 

**NOTE** If you’ve selected the 8.5x14 with perforation option, only the first physical page will include the perforation. The remaining pages will not have a perforation.

The tabs along the top right of the design canvas area are:

  • Undo Last Edits
  • Redo Last Edits
  • Alignment - Align and Distribute Objects
  • Snap to Grid
  • Hide or Show the Postage Area & Hide or Show the 8.5x14 Letter Fold and Perforation Marks
  • Settings - Options to select Double Sided printing (must have 2 pages) and to select the Perforation

The Workspace

Important to reiterate in this article (also outlined in the Understanding the Postalytics Direct Mail Editor article above) is the workspace within The Editor. 

The middle area of The Editor is where you will design and build your direct mail, we call this the canvas.

The dotted green line is the safe margin:

  • Keep all text, shapes, and images that are not meant to abut to the edge within this boundary. 
  • Content outside of this boundary is in risk of being cut off.

The black line is the edge of the template.

In the top left section of the canvas is the letter addressing area. All designs must be done around this area. It cannot be moved or modified. You can toggle the view of the address area ON and OFF with the controls in top right of the canvas.

Document Size & Safe Margin

Below are sizing specs for the 8.5” x 14” Letter with and without a perforated reply device, and with the window area on the reply device.

Document Size

8.5” x 14” Letter with Perforated Reply Device


H x W (in)

H x W (px)

Safe Margin

8.375” x 13.875”

2512.5 x 4162.5

Document Size

8.5” x 14”

2550 x 4200

Background Image Specs

300 dpi (Exactly, not higher or lower) 8.75” x 14.25"

2625 x 4275


8.75” x 3”

2625 x 900

Address Area - Letter

2.35” x 4.32”

705 x 1296

8.5” x 14” letter with Perforation & Reply Envelope Design Walk-through

Now that you’ve selected the format and named the template, we’ll walk through the remaining design steps in The Editor.

Step 1: Select Perforation

If you wish to have a perforation on the first page, you MUST select “Perforation” in the Settings drop down. If this is not selected there will not be a perforation. As a reminder, only the first physical page will include the perforation. The remaining pages will not have a perforation.

Step 2: Add Text

Create a text block by dragging the “T” icon from the left Build panel to the canvas.

Click the text block and to the right of the canvas you’ll see the text properties and styles, such as font, size, alignment, etc. Select as desired for your text.

Step 3: Add Variable Data

Double click the text block just added, then highlight and delete the sample text.

On the left side of The Editor, click the Variable Data icon under Personalize.

A pop up window will appear. Within the Available Variable Data Inserts click the data field you want to use. For this article, we are selecting “First Name”.

You will see "%First Name%” populate in the text block on the canvas.

You can also add text you’d like before or after the Variable Data field, and be sure to include spacing and punctuation. For example: Welcome to the Postalytics Academy, %First Name%.

Learn more about using personalization with Variable Data.

Step 4: Write Content

Next, create text blocks and add your remaining content.There are many text element tools to enhance readability including bold, underline, italic, and bullet points.

To use these features, simply double click the text block and highlight the particular words to emphasize. 

A pop up window will appear to format your text with:

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Underline
  • Strikethrough
  • Word Color
  • Add Special Characters
  • Font Size

Step 5: Add Images

The 8.5”x14” letter template is designed for full bleed.

To add an image, click and drag the image icon from the left side, under Build.

Click the image block on the canvas, which then populates the properties panel on the right side. Select Browse and upload an image of your choosing.

You can upload an unlimited number of images into the Postalytics Asset Manager, and then use them over and over again.

Images should be in either .jpg or .png format, set at 300dpi for best print quality.

8.5x14 letter background images must conform to the following specs: Width = 2625px, Height = 4275px, 300 dpi. Please remember that if the dpi is higher or lower, even if the height and width are correct, your image may not upload, or render properly.

See our Build Offline article for more information on how to export images from Adobe® products.

Step 6: Add Bulleted List

There are two ways to add a bulleted list.

1. Simply click and drag the bulleted list icon to the canvas, from the left side under Build. When using this method, the properties and styles panel populates and allows you to choose the List Style with the following bullet point styles:

  • Circle
  • Disc
  • Square
  • Decimal
  • Decimal Leading Zero
  • Lower Alpha
  • Upper Alpha
  • Upper Roman

Then use the styles panel to format your text size, color etc. accordingly.

2. Create a bulleted list by double clicking your text blocks on the canvas, and then double click and highlight the section you want to add a bullet list. This will populate the individual text element editor.

Select the copyright symbol to open additional special characters, then select “Bullet”. You’ll be able to create a bulleted list without creating a new text block.

Step 7: Add pURL

Postalytics offers both pURLs and QR Codes to enable the online tracking of your recipients – at no extra cost. Both of these features direct your audience to the landing page of your choice after they’ve been identified with a unique URL for the mailer they received. Postalytics makes this tracking easy, it is an option with every letter, postcard, or self-mailer template you create. Learn more about pURLs

To add a pURL, click and drag the pURL icon, from the left side under Track, to the canvas, then format the text to your liking.

In the example below, we also created a blue rectangular box to highlight the pURL. To do this, click and drag the rectangle icon from the left side, under Build, to the canvas.

Then, using the Properties and Styles panel on the right side, change the color and size of the rectangle.

The pURL text box can then be laid onto the rectangle and positioned as you wish. You may want to change the color and weight of the font used for the pURL to help it stand out further.

Step 8: Add QR Code

QR Codes make it convenient for recipients to take action, by scanning the code with their Smartphone. Thanks to Smartphones, they’ve made a comeback.

QR Codes set up through Postalytics will automatically open a pURL, or a unique tracking URL, genDue to recent mobile phone innovations, they’ve made a comeback.erated for each mailpiece in your campaign. The mailpiece recipient is automatically redirected to a landing page of your choice that you indicate in the campaign wizard.

To add a QR Code, click the icon on the left side under Track. A QR Code placeholder will be added at the top of the canvas. Click and drag that to the preferred location on the canvas. The size can be adjusted by double clicking the element and adjusting the blue positioning box that appears around the QR Code placeholder. Click and drag on any of the small blue boxes to re-size.

Step 9: Begin Proofing the Template

To be able to use your finished design in a campaign, the template must be proofed. Select the red Proof Template button in the top right corner of The Editor.

You’ll then start the process of proofing your template and will be asked to Choose Your Data Source. Here you can select Sample Data or List Data to populate the variable fields in the template.

After you choose your data source, you can choose to add any Return Address into the Proofer. The default information is pulled from the Postalytics profile.

Note: This is for proofing purposes only and not what will be printed on the final mailpiece.

Step 10: Setup pURL

When your template includes a pURL and/or QR Code, you’ll  need to set it up for proofing. This step in the proofer is only for viewing and proofing purposes and the links will not be live. They are only live once the campaign has been sent.

Step 11: Wait for the Proof to Generate

The Editor will prepare the proofs for viewing.

create direct mail templates - proof rendering

Step 12: Review Proof, Print, or Download

These high resolution PDF proofs allow you to see the mailpiece as it will be printed, including all variable fields populated with the data source selected.

You’ll be able to toggle through multiple proofs to see the impact of the longest names, addresses, other variables, and pURL strings.

If you’d like to share the proof you can easily print or even download to attach to an email.

 Note: It is extremely important to review how your variable data populates in your proof. Each variable has different character lengths so please map out an appropriate area on your design to accommodate the longest First Names, pURLs or other types of data used.

When your proof looks good, and all of the Check pages have been confirmed, add your initials and select “Accept Final Proof!”.

If there are any edits to be made, select ”Edit Template” on the left. When your edits are complete, you’ll need to go through the proofing process again.