Salt Lake Mailing & Printing Blog

Types of Direct Mail

If you’re thinking about including direct mail as part of your marketing plan, it’s important that you know the different options that are available to you. There are five general types of direct mail, each with its own specific abilities and audiences. By picking the right type of direct mail for your needs, you can better reach your audience and meet your marketing goals.

Classic Package

A classic package is one of the most common types of direct mail. A classic package is sent in an envelope, which contains a letter and a response device (i.e. order form or business reply card). The package may also include flyers, brochures or other information. The letter is considered the most important part of the package, creating the “first impression” on a potential customer. It is often even more effective to do a personalized direct mailing, which means that each letter will be addressed to a specific individual and mention details or promotions specific to them.

Classic packages are widely considered to be one of the most effective types of direct mail but are often also one of the most expensive options because of the multiple materials that need to be printed and organized. Shipping can play a factor as well since the classic package can weight more than some of the other options. It is a good idea to make up several mock-ups to ensure that the weight of the package remains under one ounce in order to get the lowest postage rate.


A self-mailer is a piece of mail that is sent without an envelope. Though there are several possible design options with self-mailers, they are most often formed out of larger piece(s) of paper that is folded down to standard envelope or brochure size. Self-mailers are usually formed out of one piece of paper, which can greatly reduce its cost.


Standard postcards range in size from 3 ½” x 5’” to 4 ¼” x 6”. This size allows the postcards to be sent with the cheaper first class postcard rate. Oversized postcards can have a higher visual impact, though they are more expensive to mail.


Catalogs are most often used for companies that offer multiple products. Companies can put their best selling products in front in order to draw people into its pages, and therefore introduce them to newer products. Printed catalogs can complement the full product listings available online or in a physical store.


Newsletters are most often sent to existing customers to keep them informed about updates, news, and sales. The putting together of an effective newsletter, with the proper balance between news, information, and sales copy, can take a good deal of time, but the finished product is fairly inexpensive to print and mail.

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