4 Self-Mailer Format Trends in the Mailstream
I personally go through over 1,000 pieces of mail that our Who's Mailing What! Archive collects each month, as does my colleague Paul Bobnak. Then we get together to discuss the more innovative efforts, along with the trends we're seeing. In our recent gathering to pour over August mail, we noticed a spike in the self-mailer format for all sectors. To make the self-mailer trend even more interesting, most of these efforts were also innovative in some way.
Here's a few of the new self-mailers that illustrate how the format can be effectively used (to see each, click on the picture box at right):
1. Color + Size + Offer = Success
Restaurants are not in the mail too often, but when they are, they're usually on a 4-color self-mailer that shows off the food and a good offer. This one from Brio Tuscan Grille (Archive code #521-718174-1008) is no different, but it goes with an extra large size (6" x 11") to get noticed in the mail. (In fact, the larger size of the self-mailers is one of those trends that was noticeable.) Also, the offer was a good one: $15 off dinner or $10 off lunch.
2. Use More Copy Inside
Like restaurants, fitness centers and gyms often use the self-mailer format to showcase the facility alongside a good offer. Here Salvation Army Kroc Center (Archive code #396-175058-1008) in Philadelphia does that well with a $0 enrollment fee and sharp photos of the fitness center. But it goes one better by including a lot of valuable content inside the fold—including a discussion of how to get started, personalized service, state-of-the-art equipment, an active program for kids, and so on.
3. Get One Point Across
The self-mailer format is typcially used by colleges and universities in an almost overwhelming way, with tons of verbiage dedicated to how great the school is, which programs and degrees are offered, and littered with images. Saint Joseph's University (Archive code #596-416892-1008) takes a more focused approach in its recent 6" x 9" mailing.