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I’m often asked what the best type of direct mail piece to use is.

There is no right answer for this question. The best type of mail piece depends on what you’re trying to do in your sales 61 Types of Direct Mail process. In many cases, using multiple different mail pieces is an effective strategy. Each mail piece has plusses and minuses given the situation. It’s vital that you understand what you’re doing, and how each type of mail piece could be used to get the best possible outcome.

I would like to point out some of the pros and cons of each of the five main types of mail pieces I have discussed.

 

POSTCARDS

Pros:

  • They don’t have to open a letter to see the message.
  • Because you can see the message without opening an envelope, multiple mailings help build a brand or name recognition, even if they throw the postcards away without reading them.
  • People often keep postcards for future use. They might keep a coupon for a special offer on the refrigerator.
  • Postcards are the least expensive way to send out Direct Mail.

Cons:

  • It is difficult to make a final sale with a postcard.
  • It is difficult to make a complex sale with a postcard.

 

LETTERS

Pros:

  • A very personal letter has a better chance of connecting with the recipient.
  • Letters can be an effective tool for making final sales. Long letters often perform better than short letters.
  • Letters have more time to tell a story.

Cons:

  • Letters to have to be opened, so a poorly designed envelope may go straight into the trash before being read. People in a hurry don’t always take time to open letters even if they are interested.
  • If you use a strategy that tries to fool the prospect, they may get mad and throw letter in the trash anyway.

 

SELF-MAILERS

Pros:

  • Self-Mailers can be very personal, giving you a better chance of connecting with the recipient.
  • There is no need for an envelope, which makes them cost effective.
  • They can do some really creative things that get attention.

Cons:

  • These can get chewed up in the mail and are limited in space.

 

PRIORITY/SPECIAL DELIVERY MAIL

Pros:

  • Priority/special delivery mail can be very effective in getting the recipient to pay attention to the mail piece
  • It gives you more room to include more materials.

Cons:

  • This type of mail is more expensive than postcards and letters.
  • It is usually more difficult to address and seal than letters or postcards.

 

LUMPY MAIL™  

Pros:

  • Lumpy Mail™ is the most effective mail piece in terms of getting noticed.
  • It typically has a very high response rate.

Cons:

  • It is the most expensive type of mail.
  • Coming up with creative ideas is not always easy.
  • Sourcing creative items is sometimes difficult.