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Direct Mail Advertising Formats

Mail Masters specializes in helping our customers select the most effective format, method and approach to meet their marketing goals and maximize the ROI on the marketing budget.

Mail Masters helps  eliminate costly mistakes that can delay mailing or reduce your response rate. It is crucial to your success to know when and why to select a format for direct mail advertising. We also set up tracking methods to measure and justify your marketing investment.

What direct mail formats are most frequently used, and when should they be used? 


Postcards are a popular and inexpensive way to offer a discount or thank you gift. Postcards work well for a simple message used to generate inquiries, if the message is short and does not require many added details. By using variable printing, postcards can use individual names within a headline or design to get attention.

Use postcards when:

  • You have a change of address or new location.
  • You have a time-limited special promotional offer.
  • Your loyalty program offers birthday or anniversary discounts.
  • You are driving repeat business.
  • More information is on your website.


Selectively targeted lists are the opposite of high volume mailings. When you sell luxury items or offer special educational or investment programs, a high quality invitation can work wonders. The invitation can be small and discrete, but works best when the quality and weight stand out.


Use invitations when:

  • Contacting professional and executive level customers  at offices
  • Attracting attendees to conferences, presentations, and other events
  • Providing selective offers targeted for high income individuals.


Letters are important where you have existing relationships to maintain, such as for ongoing communication with customers, dealers /distributors, franchisees, independent representatives and suppliers. Personalized letters are often the best choice for fund-raising requests to established donors. Associations and other membership organizations often use letters. Tri-fold flyers work well as an enclosure with a personalized direct mail letter. Sometimes business cards are enclosed. Stamps can be used to make it seem more personal.

Use personalized letters when:

  • The recipient will be addressed by name.
  • The communication is meant for an individual.
  • The letter is meant to come from a specific person.
  • You want to reinforce and build upon your existing relationship.
  • Your are responding to a qualified inquiry.
  • Privacy and confidentiality are important.


A money-saving approach, the single page folded and sealed with a tab can be mailed without an envelope. It saves money.


Use self-mailers when:

  • Your story won’t fit on a postcard.
  • There are multiple benefits or examples to share.
  • You offer a few different price points or models.
  • More illustrations or examples are needed to make the point.
  • You want the prospect to request more information.

Direct Mail Packages

Does Mail Masters Produce and Assemble Unique Direct Mail Packages? 




A cover letter can be sent with a brochure or directory. Often a reply form / order form, plus business reply envelope will be used. All these items are packaged together in a mailing envelope

Use a classic direct mail package when:

  • Several items will be kept together.
  • The message is 600 words or more
  • Your prospect will mail back a check or credit card information
  • Privacy is needed


Using variable data printing, it is possible to select the ads to be included for different types of groups or different locations. Localizing content can help to improve advertising opportunities

Segment and personalize your print materials for type of user, location or other demographics to:

  • Increase ad revenue from your advertisers
  • Increase response rates for your advertisers
  • Bring new attention and interest from readers


Rather than produce massive catalogs that cost a fortune to ship, it is now possible to sort and select the content for different levels of dealers/distributors. Content can be collated electronically at time of printing, instead of by hand. Product selections can be customized for the local area and regional preferences.


Reduce your catalog costs and target the needs you customers want and your dealers / distributors carry:

  • Reduce stocks of single product information sheets
  • Reduce printing costs catalogs
  • Reduce shipping costs for catalogs
  • Improve targeted marketing effectiveness


Mail Masters can advise you on when and when not to use any of the above conventional direct mail advertising formats.

We provide a wide variety of other approaches for our customers.

  • Lumpy Mail (Unique mail formats that include a promotional item or something that isn’t flat. These attract major attention)
  • Attention-Getting Enclosures
  • Dimensional Mail
  • Snap Packs
  • Telegrams
  • Gifts and Premiums
  • Lunch Bag Mailers


 Contact us to help you make the most for your direct mail advertising budget.


Designing Your Direct Mail for Better Response Rates and Higher Return on Investment 

Mail Masters can help you increase direct mail advertising response rates by consulting on the content of your message and the layout of your piece. We can focus your call to action to help you get the best response rate. We can make sure your contact information is prominently placed in the position that will draw the most attention. Every one of these details matter.

Sometimes design firms that work with other types of materials are great at clever design, but don’t have the decades of experience in direct mail advertising to make recommendations that improve response rates.

Download the “Ultimate Direct Mail Handbook” here. Contact Mail Masters for consultation services to help you reach your goals. Call us at 303-607-9424.