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Direct Mail Fun With Self-Mailers

Credit: Pixabay by Anne-Onyme

One of the great things about self-mailers is that they are so versatile. There is plenty of room for design creativity that will grab attention quickly. You can fold them in fun ways too. Best of all they are cost effective. We are so close to the end of 2021 so now is the time to send a self-mailer. Self-mailers are not for everyone so first we will look at when they work best.

When do self-mailers work best?

  1. Sending to Consumers – Consumers like to get mailers. On the other hand businesses tend to sift through mail before it gets to the designated person so many times mailers are tossed before they are ever seen.
  2. You have great images – Images drive attention and response, so if you don’t have good ones to use, skip doing a self-mailer.
  3. Tear offs – When you have a tear off section like coupons for your prospects or customers to keep or use, self-mailers make it easy.
  4. Sharing – A creative self-mailer will get shared with family and friends, this allows your message to spread farther.
  5. Special folds – When you want to have fun with special folds self-mailers are great! You can create all kinds of fun and unique mail pieces just by folding them in a different way.
  6. Holidays – With the holidays around the corner, you can make a big impact with specials, coupons, cut outs, stickers and more inside your self-mailer.

Color images are really important to self-mailers. They make your piece unique and help convey your message. There is no one best format, as a matter of fact the more unique the format the more engaged your prospects and customers will be. Think beyond the standard layouts. As with any type of direct mail there are some pitfalls you need to keep an eye out for such as:

  • Size – The maximum letter size is 6×10.5″. This still gives you tons of room especially when you have three panels to use.
  • Paper stock – You will need to use at least 80# text weight stock to meet mailing requirements, but in many cases you want to use something thicker in order to prevent tearing during processing.
  • Aspect ratio – When selecting your final size you need the length divided by the height to be between 1.3 and 2.5. Anything less or more will be a problem.
  • Folds – Make sure that you design the folds in the correct places. Your final fold needs to be either below the mail panel or to the right of the mail panel.
  • Tabs – You will need to make sure that you are placing the correct size tabs and placement. If you don’t’ like tabs you can also use fugitive glue.

There are so many creative things to do with self-mailers that just don’t work for envelopes and postcards. Test out some new ideas and see what your prospects and customers think. Consider folding in a different way. Don’t just take an 8.5×11″ sheet and tri-fold it. Be unique.

You could try a four-panel fold in from an 18×27″ sheet, this would cut out so that the top panel folding down would be 6×9″ then the left panel would be the same size, so would the right and bottom. Once folded the final fold would be below the mail panel.

This makes for a memorable experience for your prospects and customers. They do not get a self-mailer like that every day. Of course there are tons more folds you can create that are different. Check out some ideas here.

Consider ideas beyond folds too. You can have die cuts on the inside panels, you can use foil stamping or embossing to have areas really stand out. Don’t forget that you can add coatings too that will give a special touch to your self-mailer. There are fun ways to grab attention on a self-mailer that people do not see every day. Not all of them will fall in your budget, but if you take time to research options you will find something that you can afford and helps increase your ROI. Are you ready to get creative with self-mailers?