Direct Mail 101: Deciding on a Format

Direct Mail 101: Deciding on a Format

Discover how to choose the best format for your next direct mail campaign.


Traditional Direct Mail Package

The direct mail letter is one of the most personal types of marketing communication.  According to the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), letters typically result in a 4.3% direct mail marketing response rate.

 The components of this package are normally:

  • An outside envelope.
  • A personalised letter
  • A lift note, brochure or flyer.
  • A reply card or business reply card (BRE).

All the elements of this mail piece should have a strong and cohesive design to guarantee brand consistency. At the same time, there must be an offer and a call to action that gets repeated throughout the entire package.


The Envelope

The envelope is the first impression your audience will have of your mail piece. A pre-printed envelope with company branding or unique designs is a great way to make an impression while guaranteeing that your direct mail piece arrives safely to the right door.

Choose the right size.
 There are many different sizes you can choose from, dependent on what you’re sending. In Ireland, the most common envelope size is a C5 envelope.

Decide whether to use windows envelopes or closed face.

The marketing advantage of a window envelope is that it allows messaging and graphics that are on the inside to tempt the viewer to open the package.

On the other hand, closed face envelopes have a less salesy look, and can have a higher open rate depending on your audience. However, closed face envelopes may be harder to match with the inserts of your mail piece.

Folded Self-Mailer 

Self-mailers combine the visual impact of a postcard and the security and content length of a letter package. Normally composed of a folded paper closed by tabs, they give a sneak peak of the content, while guaranteeing more sensitive data is only seem by the recipient.

Self-mailers are generally best used in business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing to remind customers about events, provide coupons, promote sales, or have clients take a specific action such as call a phone number or visit a website. 

Learn more here about Self-mailers.


Postcards are efficient and versatile, with the ability to deliver your message in a simple format. Great for acquisition and retention mailings, they offer you the possibility of communicating with your audience in an impactful and cost-effective way.


Because they are so cost-effective, postcards are used by many small and local businesses to promote their offerings.

Door drops

Door drops are a powerful and cost-effective marketing tool. 89% of consumers remember receiving a door drop mailing, which is more than any other marketing. And it has a powerful place in people’s lives, with 45% keeping leaflets on a pin board or in the kitchen drawer.

By segmenting your message, in acquisition and retention for example, you can be significantly more selective with which households receive your leaflet; reducing distribution wastage and focusing the distribution on people of most relevance to your business.

You can, for example, use our unique technology to target non customers in your area and do acquisition door drops or send current clients a refer a friend mailing.


Another cost-effective format of direct mail is brochures. They’re traditionally single or multi-fold pieces that can come in various shapes and sizes.


By giving your audience a brochure, you get to showcase more benefits to your business, as well as how your products and services work.

Learn some tips on how to design your brochures here.


By having a catalogue delivered through your clients’ doors, you provide them a chance to learn more about your company.

According to a recent research, almost 60% of online shoppers enjoy receiving catalogues, saying that even though they buy online, they still like to have a catalogue on hand.



• Lets you showcase multiple product lines.

 • Allows recipients to “window shop” and discover new products

Dimensional Marketing Mail

Pop-ups and three-dimensional mail pieces grab the attention of your audience and help engage them with your message.


• Creates excitement.

• Helps boost response rate.

• Helps increase pass-along value.

Contact us!

Azure Communications has the experience and expertise to help create your next mailing campaign.  Call us at (0)1 531 2695 or email