3 Often Untapped Direct Mail Format Advantages
- Test shapes and sizes of postcards, outer envelopes (OEs) and self-mailers to know what’s working now with your targeted audience. Keep testing, because preferences change.
- When you have a strategically sound reason for doing so, don’t be afraid to test non-standard sizes that require more postage. The extra cost may be a good investment in higher response rates and better bottom-line results.
- Want to know more about USPS rates for different shapes and sizes? Check out the resources at the end of this article.
Direct Mail Is Hefty
Its sheer weight or bulk can be a branding tool that creates the perception of importance and value. This may explain why there’s been a recent trend in the mail to use heavier/thicker paper stock for post cards, outer envelopes and components inserted into OEs.
While credit card companies have been one of the most visible users of this tactic, mailing heavier weight OEs, other marketers are creating heft in other ways. Here are a couple examples:
- #10 OE with four card stock inserts — no letter; no reply card; all the inserts drive phone, website and
- 5” x 8 1/2” inline format with CARD ENCLOSED teaser and a 3 1/2” x 6” laminated card — promoting a free gift.
Each mailing stands out during the sorting process because of its heft and, in some cases, unique size.
Direct Mail Is Tactile
Tactility (yes, that’s a word) may be the most subtle, untapped and intriguing advantage of direct mail. The touch and feel of your mail piece in the sorter’s hands could be a tie-breaker — the difference between your mailing getting retained and read or tossed in the trash. Tests done by mailers in conjunction with the USPS show specialty inks, varnishes, papers and printing processes (e.g., embossing) not only enhance tactility, but also response.