Self-mailers in B2B Direct Mail: Benefits and Risks

Trade-to-industry junk mail entrepreneurs have discovered via checking out that a letter in an envelope will on a regular basis generate extra gross sales and pull extra inquiries than a self-mailer will.

Why is that? And on what events are you smart to make use of a self-mailer as a substitute of a letter?

A self-mailer, after all, is any flat piece of mail that arrives at its vacation spot with out an envelope. It mails “via itself,” and so has no want of an envelope. Postcards, strictly talking, are self-mailers, however the more or less self-mailers I’m speaking about listed below are those which have a fold in them.

A traditional self-mailer is a sheet of card inventory, eight ½ X eleven inches in dimension, folded in half of to make 4 panels, and sealed on the edges for mailing. On the 2 out of doors panels, those you see when the piece arrives at your administrative center, are the mailing handle, return tackle and stamp on one aspect and (frequently) a promotional message or teaser on the opposite.


1. Price: The main good thing about self-mailers is their cheaper price. As a result of they mail on their very own, they’re more cost effective to print, are more straightforward to bring together (no want to in shape addressee on letter with envelope with reply card), and require much less dealing with (no envelope and lettershop inserting prices).

2. Simplicity: Self-mailers are on a regular basis more uncomplicated to design. A picture artist does now not need to design a mailing envelope, letter and brochure, however as a substitute designs one sheet of paper back and front.

three. Area: Self-mailers are a cheap technique to current quite a few product images, graphs, charts and different photography.

four. Flexibility: Self-mailers can also be so simple as a sheet of inventory folded in 1/2 or as sophisticated as a big sheet of inventory folded in ingenious methods, with tear off coupon, order type and pre-fashioned industry reply envelope multi function.


1. Efficiency: The principle downside of self-mailers in industry-to-industry unsolicited mail is that they rarely outpull the identical data enclosed in an envelope.

2. Look: Self-mailers additionally yell “promotional message inside of.” They’re, by way of their very perform, promotional. No person sends a private message to pals in a self-mailer.

three. Tone: That brings up the 0.33 downside. Self-mailers seem much less non-public than envelopes do. And if you end up writing to businesspeople, you wish to have your correspondence to be peer-to-peer, no longer supplier-to-purchaser.

These are probably the most causes that self-mailers function poorly when compared with envelope mailings. Specifically in trade-to-trade lead technology, you wish to have your unsolicited mail piece to be perceived as skilled and private. If you’re mailing to possibilities within the C-suite (chief government officer, chief monetary officer), a letter in an envelope is the strategy that has confirmed best through the years.


Self-mailers are nonetheless efficient at promoting services and products and producing leads, although. Trade-to-trade direct entrepreneurs have discovered self-mailers to be efficient within the following instances:

  • seminar invites
  • experience bulletins
  • exchange exhibit sales space site visitors era
  • instrument improve deals
  • mailings to possibilities who shouldn’t have a mailroom reveal their mail (barbershops and manufacturing unit foremen, as an instance; my because of Dick Hodgson for this tip)
  • mailings the place you wish to have the chance to go alongside the mailing to colleagues

So how do you make a decision if a self-mailer is best than a letter and an envelope? You check. Create a value-environment friendly layout, discover a excellent printer, and check the self-mailer towards a regular envelope mailing. If you’re doing a primary-time mailing for a brand new services or products, I might go along with an envelope, letter, brochure and reply card first. Then check a self-mailer towards it later.

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