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Direct Mail Types

5 Common Types of Direct Mail

Direct mail comes in many different formats ranging from simple one-sided postcards to elaborately packaged samples. As a result, you can create a custom-tailored campaign to attract attention, increase sales and build customer relationships designed within your specific budget needs. Learn more about these five common direct mail types.



Simple and cost-effective, postcards are an excellent way to announce sales, encourage customers to visit your website or to advertise an event. They’re easy to read, don’t require an envelope, and put your message immediately in front of the reader. The typical response rate for an existing customer is 3.99%*

Common postcard types:

  • Standard postcard 4-1/4″ x 6″
  • A double card consists of two attached cards, one of which is designed to be detached by the recipient and returned by mail as a single card
  • Oversized postcard 9″ x 6″
  • Jumbo postcard 11″ x 6″
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Letters & Envelopes

Great for confidential correspondence and personalized messages, letters and invitations are an effective way to introduce your business or to raise funds for a charity. The typical response rate for an existing customer is 3.42%*

Popular envelope sizes:

  • #10 business envelope 4-1/8″ x 9-1/2″
  • Monarch business envelope 3-7/8″ x 7-1/2″
  • A-7 announcement envelope 5-1/4″ x 7-1/4
  • 6″ x 9″ letter
  • 9″ x 12″ flat
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Sent without an envelope, self-mailers are folded pages that allow more space to tell a story or show products. They can include a reply card or coupon and offer unlimited possibilities for layout and design. Sizes can range from 4-1/4″ x 6″ up to 6-1/8″ x 10-1/2″. The typical response rate for an existing customer is 3.91%*

Common self-mailer formats:

  • Gate fold
  • Roll fold
  • Z-fold
  • Booklet mailer
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Dimensional Mailers

There’s no limit to your creativity with dimensional mailers. Using pop-ups or three-dimensional formats, you can stand out from typical envelopes and postcards in a mailbox to catch the consumer’s attention. The typical response rate for an existing customer is 5.72%*

Typical dimensional mailers:

  • Pop-up
  • Tube mailer
  • Special shapes
  • Hinged cover box
  • Fluted box
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Showcase multiple lines and products or put your entire store in the hands of customers. Catalogs allow people to “window shop” to discover new products and typically have a longer shelf-life than letters or postcards. The typical response rate for an existing customer is 4.92%*

Common catalog sizes:

  • 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″
  • 8-1/2″ x 11″
  • Number of pages and thickness can vary
mail pouch mailing

The many different formats of direct mail allow you to choose a direct mail type that’s right for your audience and business strategy. Use mail to attract new customers, build engagement with current customers, communicate your unique brand message, and ultimately increase your sales.