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Direct Mail Vs Newsletter: What’s The Difference?

One of the benefits of direct mailing is that it allows you to connect with your existing clients and prospects on a more physical level. The fact that you communicate your message via tangible means is very effective. It not only has a higher chance of reaching the recipient and being seen, but also quite memorable, which makes the recipient likely to act on the call-to-action.

Letter Mailer vs.Self-Mailer: Choosing A Direct Mail Format

One challenge, however, is choosing the direct mail format. Although the decision is often left to the personal preferences of the creative team, there has to be a better way to determine whether a brochure is more suited for your audience than a postcard – and vice versa.

Keep in mind that the direct mail format is at the forefront of your direct mailing campaign. It is what your recipients see and refer to in subsequent communications. Choosing the right format should be guided by your:

  • Target audience
  • Marketing objective
  • Budget
  • Product or service
  • Follow-up plans

Letter Mailer or Self-Mailer?

This is a classic question in direct mail marketing. Which works better – a newsletter or a catalogue? A brochure or a flyer? A letter or a postcard?

When to choose a letter mailer

These are also referred to as envelope mailers because they are sent out in envelopes. A letter is usually included to guide the reader to the mail piece and to communicate the call-to-action so the recipient knows what is expected of him or her.

A letter mailer typically includes an envelope and a letter, as well as a way for the recipient to respond. Many marketers use landing pages, though you can also send a reply card or order form, depending on your business and audience.

Letter mailers offer several benefits including:

  • Personal look and feel
  • Familiar to the reader
  • Allow you to include other mail pieces or inserts

Personal letters are recommended where there is an existing personal relationship with the target, and the mailer is intended to leverage that relationship.

When to choose a self-mailer

Self-mailers are not delivered in an envelope, which helps to reduce the cost of printing and mail inserting. They can be in the form of postcards, newsletter, brochures, booklets, or even physical items such as product samples.

Self-mailers also have a number of benefits, including:

  • Generate more visual interest
  • More shareable because they’re not personal
  • Cheaper to produce

A self-mailer is recommended when promoting a mass product or event, like a community event, because a single mail piece can be seen and read by many people. Self-mailers are also great for businesses looking to advertise products with small margins on a budget.

So which is better? It depends

There are some situations where the choice is not obvious. For instance, if you want to promote a product or service that requires you to educate the public, and you expect a sale as opposed to a lead, then you should consider sending a letter package comprising a long letter and brochure to effectively communicate the message.

Interested in adding direct mail marketing to your advertising mix? Please call our Toronto mailing house at 1-866-486-0423. Troi spells success, one letter at a time

About: Seamus Barton
Seamus Barton - Author
Seamus Barton joined Troi Mailing Services in 2014 after graduating from York University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Writing. As a manager of print and direct mail solutions, he sees how words play an important role in personalizing any experience. Seamus’ passion for writing motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that supports each Client’s individual needs. Please chat with Seamus about commercial printing and direct mailing campaigns, or about how to marry digital and physical strategies for optimal Smartmail Marketing success.

You can connect with Seamus on LinkedIn or by calling Troi Mailing Services at 1-866-486-0423 or via email at Read his latest article featured in Direct Marketing Magazine on “Dimensional Mail: Marketing’s Buffet Lobster

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