Direct mails are a vital marketing tool used by businesses in various industry verticals. We know that there are many ways for you to send direct mails to the target audience. This includes everything from plain old falt envelopes to postcards to your standard letter-sized mailers. Selecting the suitable format for your mailer is crucial for the success of your direct mail campaigns. You must carefully analyze your requirements before choosing the direct mail format you are going to use.
Selecting the ideal format suited for your unique direct mail campaign is dependent on a number of factors. Some of the major considerations while selecting the mail format include:
- Marketing objectives.
- The product or service you wish to promote.
- The target audience.
- Your budget for the campaign.
That being said, a folded self-mailer is generally one of the most loved mailpieces by marketers because of the many advantages it offers in terms of marketing.
The folded self-mailer is perhaps the most suitable mailpiece when it comes to marketing, and although it may not be the case for every unique case, it is true under most circumstances. Folded self-mailers are created by folding a piece of paper into panels, and they can easily capture the recipient’s attention. These mailers usually come in bifold, trifold, or oblong panels with a sealing along the edge. Although the folded self-mailer may come across as simple, it is without question a powerful marketing tool.
This article discusses everything you need to know about the folded mailer as an effective marketing tool. We further examine the basic properties of folded self-mailers, such as their dimensions and size. We also list out the major advantages of employing folded self-mailers for your business. Furthermore, we also discuss the popular folded self-mailer used by businesses for their marketing efforts, including the trifold and bifold mailers.
Things to Note Before Sending a Folded Self-Mailer
Before you can send your folded self-mailers, you first need to make sure that they are compliant with the rules laid down by USPS. You need to be particularly sure about the dimensions or sizes of your folded self-mailers because if you get the dimension wrong, then the USPS may classify it as a different type of mailpiece. This means that you may end up paying more for delivering your folded self-mailers if you get their dimensions wrong. Furthermore, by ensuring that the mailer you send follows the USPS guidelines, you can be sure that it reaches its destination without any delays.
Dimensional Regulations for Folded Self-Mailer
- The folded self-mailers must have a height of at least 3½ inches and should not exceed over 6 inches.
- The minimum length of a folded self-mailer must be at least 5 inches and should not exceed over 10½ inches.
- The minimum thickness expected from a folded self-mailer is 0.007 inches.
- In case your folded self-mailer has a length greater than 6 inches or a height bigger than 4¼ inches, then the permissible thickness of the mailer can be 0.009 inches.
- The maximum thickness allowed for a folded self-mailer is ¼ inches.
- The maximum weight permissible for folded self-mailers is 3 ounces.
- If the weight of a folded self-mailer piece is less than one ounce, then it must be printed on at least 70-pound paper stock.
Other Regulatory Guidelines From USPS for Folded Self-Mailers
The final fold of your folded self-mailers must be made at the bottom of the mailer. Furthermore, businesses that use direct mail campaigns regularly must keep in mind that the folding configuration of the mailer determines the tabbing or wafer seals required for the mail. Furthermore, if you do decide to use tabs, then there must be at least two of them.
The folded self-mailers are no longer allowed to have perforations either. As far as the size of the folded self-mailer goes, the desired aspect ratio according to USPS is 1.3 to 2.5. Ensuring this ratio is maintained is quintessential because failure to do so could mean that you have to pay double the postage. This can be disastrous if you send out bulk mails and cause you significant loss.
Advantages of Using Folded Self-Mailer
There are numerous advantages of using folded self-mailers for direct mail campaigns. We know that being eye-catching is only one of the big advantages of a folded self-mailer as a marketing tool, but that is not all it does. Below we discuss some of the major advantages of using a folded self-mailer as a primary marketing tool for your business.
Perhaps the most promising reason why businesses are interested in folded self-mailers is their cost-effective nature. Direct mail, in general, is classified as cost-effective by marketers. Self-mailers push the cost-effective nature of direct mail even further. How? The self-mailers are comparatively less expensive to create than traditional letter packages as the latter is required to print and handle multiple pieces. Furthermore, there is no extra cost to have the mailpiece filled in envelopes since the printing press can carry out the folding.
The folded dels-mailers also allow you to have coupons or other add-ons printed on them, which further reduces the work required for the mailpiece. However, you should also keep in mind that the self-mailers are slightly more pricey than postcards as they use much bigger-sized paper and more ink. Furthermore, there is the additional cost of folding and gluing the mail pieces. On the other side, the increased cost is justified by the higher response rate of self-mailers and higher ROI (Return on Investment). You can also try using folded postcard mailers for your marketing campaigns.
Create a Bigger Impact
As we have mentioned before, self-mailers are often capable of grabbing the attention of the recipients through appealing visual elements. This is usually accomplished by focusing on the exterior of the mailpiece that the recipient immediately lays his/her eyes upon. It is especially advantageous for self-mailers because they don’t have an envelope that hides their visual queues. This means that you can capture the attention of the recipient from the first touch as long as you pitch the right offer to them.
You can use a high-quality shot of your product/service or headlines that say “Year End Sale” to pique the interest of the customer. Furthermore, you get more space to add images, graphics, and other visual elements in a self-mailer, unlike the front and back of postcards. This is extremely significant as the design elements have a much higher chance of making an impact on the customer’s mind, and the images are processed 60,000 times faster than text content.
More Space For Effectively Conveying Your Message
One big advantage self-mailer have over the other types of mailpieces like postcards is their extra space. Four-panel self-mailer measures in about 8×20 inches and can be folded down to a mere 8×5 inches. Similarly, there are several other sizes that the self-mailer comes in. This enables you to choose a mailpiece that suits your marketing message and not the other way around. Additionally, if you were simply to use a large postcard, your postage rate would increase if the size exceeds 6.125 x 11.5 inches.
So essentially, what you get with a self-mailer is the ability to incorporate images, infographics, and more that can help pursue your customers and boost your conversions. Images and infographics can effectively convey the message you are trying to pass to the target audience. Self-mailers are hence ideal for B2C marketing campaigns. You can use them to remind your customers about any specific events that your business is organizing or promote a year-end sale or simply provide discount coupons.
Perfect For B2C Businesses
As we have briefly mentioned above, self-mailers are a great choice for B2C or Business-to-Consumer companies. This is because the B2C companies are often trying to make an impression on their prospects to make successful conversions. Companies often need to use more content that can pursue the recipients, which ultimately means they need more space for the content.
Furthermore, self-mailers are particularly effective when it comes to reaching out to loyal customers regarding a special event you are hosting or simply providing them with discount coupons. Loyal customers are highly likely to take the desired action with the right amount of persuasion and a good offer which justified the slight increase in the price of using self-mailers as compared to postcards.
Greater Privacy and Measurability
Although most people may not consider self-mailer as very private because they don’t use envelopes but, the truth is that they offer much higher privacy than postcards. This is mainly because the self-mailers are sealed at the edge. With proper placement of the message, you can ensure that the sensitive information is well hidden inside the mailpiece.
Another important advantage of self-mailers is that they offer an additional layer of tracking for your direct mail. This is possible by employing a physical response device such as perforated business reply cards. Furthermore, using physical coupons may encourage the recipient to hold onto the coupon for a longer time to use it at the right time, which effectively reinforces your brand in the prospects’ minds.
Why You Should Use Folded Postcard Mailer or Trifold Mailer
At this point, it must already be clear why you should use folded postcard mailers or trifold self-mailers for your business over regular postcards. The answer is simple — more space. More space for you to pitch your offer. More space for you to convey your idea. More space to bring out the value of what you are offering. The variety of self-mailer sizes enables you to try out various tactics and visual elements.
Using folded self-mailer, you now have the option to go well beyond the regular postcard direct mail. A 3-panel mailer can measure 8 x 15 inches and can fold down to the size of merely 8 x 5 inches. Similarly, the folded postcard mailer size can range from 5.5″ x 8.5″ Postcard to 6″ x 11″ Postcard. This also means that you can use the ideal size for your unique campaign, making it even more flexible.
How to Ensure the Success of Your Folded Self-Mailer Campaign
Ensure a Seamless Flow
Self-mailers’ biggest advantage is arguably the sheer size it has to offer, but this can go horribly wrong if the content inside your self-mailer does not have a seamless flow. Make sure that you maintain the overall theme of the mailer consistently and also sparks curiosity in the recipient. It would be best if you also made it a point that each of the panels in your self-mailer has its own function. It would be best if you can create a mockup first to get a better understanding of the layout.
Focus on Instant Visual Impact
Remember that the visual aspect of your self-mailer is what decides whether the recipient will open the mailpiece or not. Therefore, it is crucial that you focus your efforts on creating an immediate visual impact on the prospects. People generally process visual information faster than texts, and hence you should make use of images and infographics that can quickly appeal to the audience. Make sure that the image or illustration you use clearly defines what you are offering the audience.
Use Punchy Words/Lines
The copy you send to your prospects must be easy to read and understand. Keep the content short and use punchy lines or phrases that strike the customer. It would be best if you also made sure that the CTA you use is easily noticeable. Make it clear what you are offering and how it can help them. At no point should the reader feel like they are wasting their time reading, so take out unnecessary content that could confuse the reader.
Folded self-mailer is the perfect way for businesses to reach out to their target audience via direct mail effectively without once having to worry about conveying their message entirely. Self-mailer lets you convey your message without leaving out the details or paying extra postage by sending large-sized mailpieces. To be able to utilize the complete potential of folded self-mailer fully, you need to couple it with an automated direct mail system such as PostGrid.
Systems like PostGrid come with advanced capabilities that go well beyond direct mail automation. You can further increase the ROI of self-mailers by using the address validation feature of PostGrid, which enables you to achieve a 99% deliverability rate. This implies that you can personalize, print, and mail your customers with the click of a button and save your money while doing it.