Top Five Direct Mail Formats

February 9, 2012

Top Five Direct Mail Formats

Direct mail continues to be a popular and versatile marketing strategy. Even in the age of technology, direct mail still comprises a critical component of any cohesive marketing campaign. With the numerous forms of direct mail available, a company can tailor each direct mail campaign specifically for each purpose and audience.

The key to a successful strategy is choosing the right format for each component of a marketing campaign. Different formats lend themselves to certain functions. Five types of direct mail can be used to address virtually any marketing need.

  • Postcards: Cost-effective and simple, postcards are best for brief, clear messages. They work well for reminders, thank-you’s, and special offers. Postcards are an excellent way to contact current customers, who already know about a company’s products and services.
  • Self-mailers: These are brochures that fold into themselves and stay shut with an adhesive tab. Self-mailers make excellent introductions for prospective customers, because they can be full-color and include thorough details about the company. Although they are more expensive than postcards, they carry much more information, and do not require an outer envelope.
  • Letters: In situations where confidentiality or order forms are required, the traditional letter is often the best option. The letter can be part of a comprehensive mailing package that includes business cards, reply mail, or brochures, for a professional and polished presentation. Since letters require separate postage and envelopes, they are best for current customers or highly targeted prospects.
  • Dimensional Mailers: A step up from letters or brochures, the dimensional mailer looks fresh and upscale. For high-level business-to-business contacts, dimensional mailers are a compelling option. Dimensional mailers can be used to give a unique and concise overview of a company.
  • Catalogs: To showcase a wide range of products, catalogs are the clear choice. The higher cost of producing high-quality catalogs means that it is best to send them to current customers or highly targeted prospects. Catalogs offer a great cross-selling opportunity, since customers can see not only the kinds of products they originally purchased, but also related or new ones.

The design and layout of direct mail offer endless options, and an expert can help tailor mailing materials to meet each company’s needs and maximize the impact on mail recipients. Regardless of which direct mail format is used, it is important always to include two elements: a call to action and contact information. The call to action invites the mail recipients to act on the information they have just read, and the contact information gives them the tools they need to follow through on that call to action.


One Response to “Top Five Direct Mail Formats”

  1. Hi,
    Enjoyed the article.

    Being a small business owner I’m always looking for news, helpful blogs, and articles about running and marketing a small business.

    Reading about other businesses and what they are doing is always helpful.

    Keep up the good work

    JBS Printing, LLC
    1401 Hanover Street
    Hanover, MA 02339

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