What are the cheapest direct mail formats and sizes that allow you to run a successful direct mail? What are the direct mail formats with the greatest exposure and a guaranteed impression? Which format are more suitable for a longer sales pitch or for an event program? Find out all the aspects that can help you save big!
If you want to run direct mail on a budget, choose self-mailers. A self-mailer is any piece of direct mail that does not require an envelope, and the address information for postage is printed directly on it. Self-mailers are a cost-effective direct mail marketing tool, used widely for their fast turnaround and ability for mass distribution of a simple marketing message.
Postcards don’t have to be large and expensive to be effective. Postcards don’t take much time to read: the recipient can understand your offer within seconds of glancing at it. “If you’re planning to mail a postcard, First-Class Mail gives you the best value for your postage dollars. There is no lower postcard price in USPS Marketing Mail”. A full-color glossy 4.25 x 6 postcard stock starts from $178 for a 5,000 mail pieces batch.
Folded Postcard is a multi-panel postcard that gives more space to write your message. Most common is a 3-panel mailer (2 folds) and used for event invitations. You can add a perforation for a reply card or coupon. A full-color 6 x 8 half folded stock of postcards can be ordered at prices starting from $454 for a 5,000 mail pieces batch.
Booklets are used for multi-product sales or sales that require a longer sales pitch, suitable for catalogs and event programs. You can order full-color saddle stitched booklets with 8 pages at prices starting from $ 289 for a 1,000 mail pieces batch.
These collaterals are a great way to brand yourself, boost traffic to your store, and provide inexpensive advertising. Door hangers offer an advantage over traditional direct mail by creating a “guaranteed impression.” The homeowner must handle the piece that is just one advertising message with great exposure. Door hangers start from $386 for a 5,000 mail pieces batch.
If you want to keep costs under control, try to avoid unique and odd shape formats, such as die-cuts or unusual sizes, intense colors and matte finishes, that can increase your printing and postage costs.
A simple standard format with a compelling offer can be as effective as a very creative one.
In a nutshell, choose the format that fits best your marketing goals, target audience, the product or service you’re selling and your budget.
Once your design is ready, the next decision to take is printing. What options do you have?
Use digital printing to deliver quickly or small orders. Digital printing is also suitable for metallic colors, and a wide variety of glossy, matte and textured coatings that may be printed in-line or added in post-processing.
This type of printing is cheaper for black and white materials and more suitable for personalized direct mail pieces because it easily handles variable data such as names, addresses, codes, etc.
On the other hand, traditional offset printing is more appropriate for high-quality prints, accurate color reproduction and large (over 1,000 pieces) runs. Also, it supports a large variety of paper type with custom finishes.
While digital printing is more advantageous for short runs, with offset printing, the more you print, the cheaper is the price per piece. As a general rule, if it’s under 1,000 mail pieces it will be cheaper to produce on a digital printer.
Choosing the right paper is very important when creating your pieces. Using quality papers can show the value of your brand. Selecting a paper with a good weight will make a good impression on your recipients.
If you want to reduce postage, choose a lower paperweight for your mailer, but at least 80 lb weight to meet mailing requirements. Keep in mind these guidelines:
- 12 PT (100 lb) – the most economical option, great for bulk mail and letters.
- 14 PT – a standard and popular choice suitable for business and professional postcards.
- 16 PT provides a luxurious texture that stands out from the rest for thick high-quality postcards.
For multi-paged mail pieces, you can use a paper combination, a lightweight paper for inner pages, coupled with a thicker paper cover that can grant a more robust feel to the overall mal piece, protecting it from tears and damage.
When it comes to paper finishes, a gloss paper is usually the cheapest option and provides vibrant colors and a shiny look.
A matte paper is more expensive and more resistant to fingerprints and smudges, it also provides a luxury feel. Choose accordingly what you are looking for.
Otherwise, avoid coating, some coatings may rub off during the mailing process or ask your printer what coating can be safely used.
Other cheap options that will weigh heavily in your budget:
- Color front, no back
- Color front, black & white back
- Yellow Cards
- Vintage White & Black Postcards
Accurate Mailing offers several printing options and print-to-mail programs for your business. In addition to our Postcard Programs, we print and mail envelopes, merge letters, and flyers. We’re a one-stop solution for many direct mail projects.
Using our printing and mailing services from start to finish can help you avoid costly mistakes that can occur when using multiple vendors. But sometimes that’s not practical. In such cases, we’ll work with your printer or graphic designer so that your mailing will be processed efficiently and to post office standards.