Get Better Results with the Right Design Format
When you’re planning a direct mail campaign, one of the decisions you have to make is what type of piece to send. You have many different formats to choose from.
Recognize Common Design Formats
The types of mailing pieces you can create are almost limitless. You can go with standard formats, such as letters or postcards, or design something more custom.
Some of the more common direct mail formats include the following:
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- Postcards of different sizes
- Folded self-mailer
- Letters and envelopes
- Dimensionals (boxes, tubes, and other non-flat pieces)
Of these pieces, according to a DMA report, an oversized envelope has the highest response rate (5%), while a letter-sized mailing has the lowest response (3.5%) – although your results may vary. While the response rate is important, you also have to factor in the cost of production – a postcard or a letter-sized envelope will cost less to print than a fancy dimensional item or oversized envelope
Match Your Medium to the Message
Some direct mail campaigns lend themselves to specific types of pieces. If you have a lot of different products to present, a catalog is the best approach. A shorter product line, or perhaps a collection of seasonal offerings, might be best presented in a smaller brochure. Postcards are a great way to deliver coupon offers and announce upcoming events. Personal messages are best delivered in letter format, as are more professional offerings, such as in the B2B space.
Make the Decision
Ultimately, what type of piece you decide on depends on a number of interrelated factors, including:
BUDGET: How much money you have or are willing to spend matters. A campaign on a tight budget might not be able to produce fancy dimensions or thick catalogs.
POSTAGE COSTS: Letters and postcards cost less to mail than oversized and dimensional pieces. The more you spend per piece, the higher the response rate you need to generate.
TYPE OF PRODUCT OR SERVICE: As noted, some products or services (such as life insurance or home loans) might be better suited to a secure letter. More fun products might benefit from a more colorful and attention-getting design.
Test Before You Finalize
Remember, it’s easy to find out what type of piece delivers the best bang for the buck. Simply print a small run of your piece in different formats and test them on a targeted group of recipients. It’s good to find out what works before you roll out a complete run of direct mail piece.