Production: An Ode to the Self-Mailer
This would be a good test for you to conduct, though some of these self-mailers seem expensive. Make sure you test to determine break-even points and ROI before rollout.
I recently received a piece that had a CD embedded in the self-mailer that was visible through clear plastic (see the Intuit example at the bottom). It was well-done and appealing. Even unique folds and cuts can work within this category.
Unique Materials: You’ve seen the magnets that mail themselves, as well as plastic, cloth and rubbery-type papers. They’re working, and that makes them worth testing.
Some Best Practices
A few things I have discovered through testing self-mailers for more than 20 years:
- Don’t be clever just to be clever. Messaging still matters more than being cute.
- Self-mailers work better for two-step programs than for one-step campaigns, but with the right Web strategy, that can be proven false.
- Self-mailers work best when mailed to house lists. That’s because the recipient typically already has a relationship with you, and credibility has been established previously.
- The format works great when you rely on the Web to do your heavy lifting, i.e., selling.
- Not enough self-mailers are tested in B-to-B marketing.
- Complicated self-mailers can cost too much and often are not tested before rollout.
- Keep it simple at first; test more complicated, expensive formats later.
As technology advances and postage and paper/printing costs rise, interest in economical, attention-grabbing self-mailers is sure to grow.
Take another look at them as you plan your next round of tests. Affordable self-mailers can be as interactive as you’d like, deliver your messages quickly and succinctly, and be sized and shaped to stand out in the mailboxes of your customers and prospects.
Grant A. Johnson is the CEO of Brookfield, Wis.-based Johnson Direct LLC. He can be reached at (800) 710-2750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.