A successful element of multi-channel business marketing, self-mailers are a cost-effective way to reach existing customers and generate new leads. Discover what self-mailers are along with how this form of direct mail can help you generate more revenue over email alone.
What Are Self-Mailers?
Self-mailers are pieces of marketing mail or business advertisements that can be mailed without any type of enclosure, such as an envelope. They are well suited for B2C (business to consumer) businesses who want to make a lasting impression.
To comply with USPS guidelines and avoid additional postage charges, self-mailers and folded self-mailers must adhere to these sizing requirements:
When sending folded self-mailers, they should be sealed shut.
Examples of self-mailers include postcards, a flat or folded sheet of cardstock or paper, a booklet or catalog.
What is the Difference Between a Self-Mailer and a Direct Mail Package?
A direct mail package is not the same as a self-mailer. Direct mail requires an envelope, while self-mailers do not require an envelope as an enclosure.
There are advantages and disadvantages to sending both types of mail. Self-mailers, however, tend to cost less than direct mail. They are also more likely to be seen by the recipient whereas direct mail has a much greater chance of being tossed with other junk mail without ever being opened.
Nonetheless, both types of mailings can be highly targeted and personalized. They also offer a cost-effective marketing solution with a proven track record for success. Both forms of these direct mail advertisements also have a higher response rate compared to email.
Advantages of Using Self-Mailers for Direct Mail Marketing
Self-mailers have several advantages over other forms of marketing that make them work for your business needs.
They Save Money
A big advantage of choosing self-mailers over other forms of marketing is that they save you money. As there’s not envelope needed, they are generally less costly to produce as there’s less packaging, printing, and handling required. And, if you take advantage of a direct mailing service, you can save even more.
It's More Effective than Email
When comparing email marketing to direct mail advertising, targeted direct mail not only has a higher response rate than email, but it also has about the same cost per acquisition as other digital marketing channels. Additionally, direct mail also generates more revenue than email – up to 5x the purchase amount.
Direct Mail Is Viewed More Favorably
While older generations are accustomed to receiving an onslaught of junk mail, younger generations are more likely to receive hundreds of emails per day. For them, this makes receiving physical mail more impactful. While for you it means that you’re more likely to stand out from the crowd.
In general, self-mailers also have a solid response rate when compared to other forms of direct mail. Research indicates that their response rate is similar to that of oversized envelopes and higher than a traditional-sized letter. It’s also a more personal and targeted way to reach customers when compared to traditional forms of advertising such as radio, television, or billboards.
They’re Great for Impulse Buys
Self-mailers are great at encouraging impulse buying. They work well when combined with a special offer. It’s also a great way to cross-sell or upsell products to your existing customer base.
Design and Flexibility
Both self-mailers and folded self-mailers offer a lot of flexibility whether you send out a single sheet of stock or fold a large sheet in creative ways. Due to their simplicity, they are also easier to design as you only have a single sheet, whether mailed flat or folded, to formulate your message. There’s no envelope, letter, or brochure that also needs to be created.
That said, self-mailers also are great for displaying bold graphics and designs. Therefore, they tend to be more eye-catching than mailings contained within an envelope.
Trends Predict an Uptick in Use
Leading marketing experts agree that direct mail is once again on the rise. Predictions have been made that that it will become an integral part of engagement programs, doing what email was able to accomplish ten years ago. Thereby the use of direct mail is expected to double as companies look for more way to personally connect with their customer base. (Source.)
Highly Likely to Be Shared
When compared to email, direct mail has a greater chance of being shared. Not only does physical mail go to an entire household rather than a single person, but it is also more likely to be discussed among family members – including those that have the actual purchasing power.
Direct Mail Sticks Around Longer
Unlike email, physical mail sticks around longer. Emails are often deleted with a single click, often times without ever being opened. With direct mail self-mailers, everything you want them to see is presented to consumers immediately. Not only is the message clear, but people are also more likely to hold onto mail with an event or promotional offer that’s enticing to them. Thereby the lifespan of direct mail averages around 17 days.
If you choose magnetic mailers, such as those offered by Magnets USA®, your direct mail will literally stick to their fridge. This keeps your information handy and helps you stay top of mind even longer than simply sending a special offer via snail mail.
How to Give Direct Mail Self-Mailers More Impact
No one wants to throw money away on advertising that doesn’t bring in a return on your investment. Therefore, you want to thoughtfully plan your direct mail marketing to give you the best results. Here are some ways to ensure you are the getting the biggest bang for your buck when advertising through direct mail.
Target the Mailings
By targeting the direct mail self-mailers you send out, you will receive a higher ROI (return on your investment.) Therefore, we recommend that you send these mailings out to your existing customer base first, followed by those who have expressed interest in your products or services.
If you don’t have an existing list of client leads, or you are seeking new prospects, you can use the USPS Every Door Direct Mail™ (EDDM) program to reach new customers based on their demographics, including location, age, income, and household size. EDDM works well for small businesses, realtor marketing, restaurants and local political campaigns. By targeting potential clients within your customer demographic, you increase your response rate from your mailings.
Choose the Right Self-Mailers
Designing your mailers can be a challenge for anyone. You want to send mail that stands out and engages your customers. You also want that mail to stick around rather than being immediately tossed in the bin. A great way to do this is to turn your mailings into a physical product that the recipients can use.
Choosing magnetic mailers is a great way to both provide a useful product and eliminate the need to design a mailing from scratch. Magnets USA® offers many wonderful options that fill this need including self-mailing year-at-a-glance calendars and magnet cards for your favorite team sport schedules.
Our magnetic sports schedules are incredibly popular among customers. Therefore we provide a wide range of options such as football schedules and hockey schedules as well as golf, basketball, and baseball that can be mailed as stand-alone products without envelopes.
We also offer custom magnetic mailers that you can design yourself from start to finish. Each of these magnetic cards is Every Door Direct Mail® compatible and features a magnetic strip across the top reverse side.
Provide an Offer
Not only does providing an offer make it easy to track your engagement, but it also encourages the consumer to take action. In essence, an offer is your call-to-action, similar to what you would include in a digital email. The format of this marketing also helps people to remember an event or sale. Many individuals will stick these types of mailings on their refrigerator as a reminder to take advantage of an upcoming offer.
Convey Your Message with Pictures
Self-mailers need a strong design for peak effectiveness. Therefore, we recommend that you design this form of direct mail with bold graphics or photographs along with short blocks of text. A high-quality cardstock or paper is also recommended. While a pleasing finish, such as our irresistible PLUSH™ paper finish, is sure to gain extra attention. You also don’t want to skimp on color!
Create a Landing Page for Your Offers
Another great way to engage customers is to create a landing page for the offer included in your direct mail. Not only does this provide them with additional information or other offers they can take advantage of, but it also makes it easier for the customer to find what you’re selling. It’s also a great way to help you track your engagement rate.
Combine Direct Mail with Email Campaigns
To help make your advertising campaigns even more effective, you can combine both direct mail and email marketing. Start by sending out a campaign via direct mail. Then follow up on your physical mailings a week later by email. This creates a drip campaign effect that you may be familiar with through your email marketing efforts.
It’s recommended that you send two emails for every piece of physical mail you send. Additionally, all of the marketing materials for this combined campaign should feature the same branding and design elements to reinforce the offer you’re making and better familiarize your customers with the product or service you’re providing.
Track Your Campaign Results
Of course, you can’t know how well your marketing campaign performed if you don’t track the results. While tracking engagement from direct mail can be more challenging than tracking through an email or website, it’s not impossible.
For physicals locations you can track your ROI by including a tear-off coupon on your mailings. Otherwise, online orders and leads can be traced through the use of landing pages or coupon codes.
How Much Does It Cost to Send Mailers?
Our direct mail self-mailers are an effective and affordable way to canvas an area in your target market. Postage for our magnetic mailers can be mailed for as low as 18.3 cents per piece. Whereas postcards mail at the standard postcard rate if you address and mail the cards yourself. Or you can save up to 70% off standard rates when utilizing Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM) Service through the USPS.
When Should Self-Mailers Not Be Used
If your target audience is another business, rather than an everyday consumer, then we don’t recommend you use another method of direct mail to reach your consumer base. While there are exceptions to every rule, the fact of the matter is that most companies screen the mail either at reception or in the mailroom to remove advertisements before they reach the intended recipient.
To skirt this issue, you can ensure your mail reaches the intended recipients by sending out magnetic mailers that offer value. Our magnetic mailers, such as our select magnetic sports schedules and year-at-a-glance calendars magnets, are more than just a marketing piece – they’re also a useful tool.
Need help with your direct mail marketing campaign? Learn how using our direct mailing service can save you time and money over doing it yourself! Also be sure to explore our posts on how to market your business for ways to reach customers and generate leads.
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