The Folded Self-Mailer

One of the most eye-catching direct mail pieces you can find is the folded self-mailer.  Because this marketing piece is trifold, bifold or oblong it does not require an envelope.  It is secured with either glue or tabs so your target market can immediately be wowed by the visuals.

It is the perfect in-between solution for a company’s marketing.  It is a direct mail tool that has a larger footprint than a postcard and has much more room for outstanding design.  The average postcard ranges from 4.25 x 6” to 12 x 16.5”.  A three-panel self-mailer typically measures 8 x 15” and a four-panel measures about 8 x 20”, both of which typically fold down to 8 x 5”.  A self-mailer can use both sides for information while a postcard has USPS restrictions on one side due to mailing guidelines.

Ninety percent of information processed by the human brain is visual and it processes images 60,000 times faster than text. (Using Emojis instead of words has taken off.) This means you can make an impression in an instant.  Instead of just the front and back of a postcard, we have the opportunity for creativity because there is more space to add images and other visuals. 

By adding a perforated business reply, or other physical response devices to the self-mailer, you get an additional layer of customer tracking.  These self-mailers are great when used in the business-to-consumer (B2C) marketplace to remind customers about events, provide coupons, promote sales, or have a customer take a specific call to action. 

The USPS provides strict guidelines to follow in order for your self-mailer to make it into your target’s mailbox.

They require:

Must be a minimum of 3 ½ inches and a maximum of 6 inches in height

Have a minimum length of 5 inches and a maximum of 10 ½ inches

Must be a minimum thickness of 0.007.  (Can be 0.009” in thickness if the height exceeds 4 ¼ inches or if the length exceeds 6 inches.)

Must use a minimum of 70lb paper

Can have a maximum thickness of ¼ inches

Can have a maximum weight of 3 oz

Must be rectangular with four square corners

Must have an aspect ratio within 1.3 to 2.5

If you are looking for a way to WOW your customers and stay within a budget, the self-mailer may be the way for you to begin using direct mail, reach your target market and get great ROI.


Contact us with any questions or request a meeting to discuss how we can help you reach new heights. 

Alexander Clark Printing is helping change business printing one ink spot at a time. 

Printed documents run business.  Words on a page communicate with your staff and customers. 

Alexander Clark can supply you with your promotional products, from pens to stress balls, from mugs to wrist bands.

When done right, direct mail marketing can work with your other channels, like digital marketing, to make your business stand out. 

 Printing on the envelope is your opportunity to add color, personality, and in some cases, life to your envelope. Which one you choose can depend on the kind of mailing you are doing, the size of your mailing and your budget.

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