Direct Mail Lingo: What is a Self-Mailer?

As its name implies, a Self-Mailer refers to any piece of direct mail that does not require an envelope. In lieu of the envelope, a self-mailer is designed so that address information and postage can be printed (or affixed) directly on it. Self-mailers offer a cost-effective method of direct mail marketing, with the vast majority being distributed to consumer households.

Tri-Fold Mailer III

An example showing the address side of a simple tri-fold self-mailer

Most self-mailers are created from a single piece of durable paper or cardstock, which is folded into panels and secured with adhesive tabs or glue spots to keep it tightly closed during transit. Common folding configurations for a self-mailer include the bi-fold, tri-fold, and four-panel fold.

A multi-page document, such as a saddle-stitched newsletter or small booklet, can also be designed as a self-mailer. Technically, a postcard is a self-mailer but is rarely referred to as such.

Benefits of Using a Self-Mailer…

More Options for Creativity – one of the benefits a self-mailer has over the use of a traditional envelope is that a self-mailer can be creatively designed with attention-grabbing text and images. Since there is no envelope to open, these colorful graphics will be seen immediately by the recipient. This is why self-mailers are so popular for promotional purposes, such as announcing sales and events, or marketing products and services with a brief yet compelling offer.

A Money-Saving Alternative – another benefit of self-mailers is that they are cheaper than preparing and sending a traditional sales letter or packet. In addition to forgoing the cost of the envelope and the expense of printing multiple pieces, there is no labor required to insert contents into an envelope. Also, if your mail piece should require a supplemental component, such as a reply card or coupon, these can be incorporated directly into the self-mailer using easy-to-remove perforations.

Perfect for Mass Marketing – self-mailers have a definite place in the world of direct mail and that is mass marketing a simple message to consumers. Because a self-mailer offers immediate visual impact, it is an ideal format for delivering a concise marketing message directly to households. Self-mailers are particularly effective when sent to an existing customer base or to those who are already familiar with your brand or offerings.

If a Self-Mailer sounds like something you would like to incorporate into your marketing plan, get in touch with Formax at 866-367-6221.  We will be happy to answer any printing or mailing questions you may have. Or, if you already know the specifications of your project, you can access our easy quote request form by clicking here. We look forward to assisting you!

Take care!  Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include full-color printing, all types of softcover books, laminated printing, plus fulfillment and mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 314-434-5500 or 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services for over 30 years.

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