As we move deeper and deeper into an age of all-screens digital campaigns, it seems like there are more myths cropping up about the effectiveness of direct mail as a marketing channel. One myth that is perpetuated often in direct marketing circles is that self-mailers don’t generate the same performance as envelope packages.

FACT: If the three mainstay principles for any good direct mail campaign are followed, then self-mailers can be very successful at driving your message home to your target audience:

  1. Target the right audience—Typically, a self-mailer works really well for existing customer communications rather than for reaching prospects, because communications to prospects usually need to tell a bigger story. The existing customer audience is presumably already engaged with your brand, so there isn’t a need to create a psychological interaction of opening an envelope as there is in an acquisition piece.
  2. Craft the right offer or call to action—Given that the real estate on a self-mailer is limited and the audience is familiar with your brand due to other communications they’ve received, self-mailers are most effective when they are either delivering one focused piece of information or a single call to action. For example, an oversized postcard announcing a discount offer to try a new product can be highly effective and less expensive than a more costly mail package.
  3. Present the message in your brand’s look and feel—Because there is no envelope carrier for your message, it’s critical that the creative be arresting so customers can quickly scan the self-mailer and recognize your brand as they are going through their mail. The piece needs to clearly convey your brand and the messaging should speak to the reader in a targeted, personalized way. As mentioned earlier, this format performs best when targeting existing customers. So be sure to take the time to populate their name throughout the piece and say thank you for being a customer.

By following these simple steps, you can make self-mailer formats effective for your communications and get the performance metrics you are looking for. Find other great tips on how to make your marketing programs more successful at