The 4 Most Popular Direct Mail Formats

Search the Website

June 21, 2018

With so many ways to get your message into a customer’s mailbox, how do you choose? The key to selecting the perfect direct mail format is to make sure the direct mail’s presentation squares with your content.

You’re not going to announce a one-day sale in a copious catalog—just as there’s no way a postcard is going to suffice when you want to show your new spring clothing line, unabridged. But either format can excel depending on your campaign objectives.

Most Effective Direct Mail Pieces

According to POP from Sappi, oversized envelopes are the most effective direct mail pieces with the greatest return results from households with postcards and letter-sized envelopes right behind them.

Advertising Mail Format Types

To help you make a format selection for your direct mail campaign, here are the most popular advertising mail format types of marketing mailpieces, organized by the outcome they’re best used to achieve.


Full dress direct mail package work hard to get readers to the next level by conveying a lot of information and having space for unique calls to action. Their high-quality presentation reflects well on your brand. (ex: credit card applications, catalogs, offers to join)

Prairie Band Casino

Direct Mail Formats

Direct Mail Formats

Loyola Marymount University

2. Folded Self-Mailers

Folded self-mailers cost less to produce and are less involved than the commitment drivers, but they’re incredibly effective when you need a more specific job done. (ex: postcards, coupons, brochures)

Folded Self-Mailers


Folded Self-Mailers

Kansas City Quills Awards


Periodical mail helps to cross-sell a message and offer opportunities to create well-branded marketing materials that boost credibility and are easily shared. (ex: booklets, bills)

Periodical Mail

Connect Magazine

Periodical Mail

Price Chopper


Custom envelope mailers are designed to provide the confidentiality some mailings require while remaining flexible so branding can be worked into the layout or even the mail’s physical content. (ex: frequent flyer offers, credit transfers, bank statements)

Custom Envelope Mailers

Planned Parenthood

Custom Envelope Mailers

University of Kansas

Read further about direct mail formats on Sappi.

How Can We Help?

Contact Info

8300 NE Underground Drive
Pillar 122
Kansas City, Missouri 64161

(816) 459-8404

Valuable resources about the people and industries we serve.