Coming to Terms With Mailing Terms: What is a Self Mailer?


Coming-to-Terms-With-Mailing-Terms-What-is-a-Self-Mailer.jpgEvery If using direct mail is part of your overall marketing strategy (and there are some really good reasons that it should be), you have a number of options when it comes to getting your message out.

A lot of businesses and organizations use postcards very effectively to send quick reminders or to make an announcement of some kind. Postcards are ideal for that purpose.

There are times, however, when what you need to communicate requires a more detailed explanation that what fits comfortably on a card. Trying to cram too much information into a small space just doesn’t work. That’s when using a self-mailer may make more sense. But what exactly is a self-mailer? And how can it help you get your message across?

Simply put, a self-mailer is a mailing that doesn’t require an envelope or any kind of outer wraper. You could make the case that a postcard is actually a kind of self-mailer, but most marketers treat them as different kinds of mailings. Self-mailers are folded and held into place by either an adhesive strip or with tabs. The most common types of self-mailers are bi-fold or tri-fold pieces. A self-mailer essentially allows you to have a letter, a brochure, and an addressable surface all in one.

Why would you use a self-mailer instead of a postcard? If you have a product that you want to visually show off, a postcard may not give you enough “real estate” to do that adequately. A self-mailer gives you a lot more room for visual impact.  Or you might have something that requires both an image and some text to get your message across. Again, the format of a card mailing may not allow you enough space to accomplish that.

If you’re hosting a seminar or a trade show, or some kind of event in which you’d like to explain the event in detail (or include biographic information about speakers or details about topics) a self-mailer can help sell the event by providing more detail than a postcard can handle.

Self mailers are an ideal bridge between a simple card and a more complex (and expensive) option such as an envelope mailing with a separate letter and brochure. While it may be a bit more expensive than a card mailing, a self-mailer is generally less expensive than envelope mailings which require insertion and sealing.

One thing you’ll want to make sure you do with any self-mailer is to include a link back to a specific landing page so that recepients can gather additional information, or respond. Many mailers will also use a postcard as a reminder of the information in a self-mailer. A well-done self-mailer can hang around for a while on a desktop or countertop. A quick card as a follow-up can remind recepients about the mailing they received—and stimulate response.

In short, if you’ve got a message that requires more space than a postcard provides, a self-mailer gives you the space and visual impact you need—without incurring a lot of additional cost.

Growing Leads with Direct Mail