The Self-mailer Challenge
Sound like a challenge? The raw space you have to work with is one reason why a good self-mailer is hard to find. Ensure you are making an eye-popping offer and that the self-mailer has a simple call to action. If you have more to say, more to show or more to do than can fit on that one piece of paper, reconsider your self-mailer choice early, before you're stuck with the format. That giant poster of a self-mailer can start to look like a postage stamp pretty darned quick.
• A third panel—In most self-mailers with three panels, the third panel acts like an orphan on a brochure. A smart use of this panel is to reiterate the offer and "tease a little deeper," maybe with some tantalizing product or service details or an enticing photo. Again, if you can personalize this panel, you'll be doing your response numbers a big favor.
OK, the production is supposed to be easy, right? After all, it's just a self-mailer. How hard can it be? Well it's just that false sense of well-being that's been the undoing of many production managers. Here are the issues that need to be resolved:
• Know up from down. Mailpiece layout can be a nightmare if you're not careful. And it's more common to make a mistake with the layout than you think. The designer often fails to identify the top and bottom somewhere in the art files or to show the printer how to back up the artwork correctly. Make sure to call out the top and bottom in the art files. You'll really be doing yourself a favor if you can send your printer(s) a backed-up folding dummy so when the job is on press, the pressperson can see what is expected.