Direct Mail

The Different Types of Direct Mail

One of the greatest things about direct mail is that it comes in many different forms. It can be letters, postcards, catalogues or anything else that can be mailed directly to a home or office. By specifically tailoring the type of direct mail you choose for your audience and the purpose of your campaign, you are more likely to guarantee a high response rate. Statistics from Royal Mail UK showed that more than 92% of direct mail is opened and 48% of UK adults took action after receiving direct mail last year.

In this blog, we have rounded up some examples of various direct mail marketing formats to help you decide which option would be best for your next campaign.



A self-mailer tends to be one large piece of paper than can be bi-folded into smaller compartments such as a small booklet, brochure or leaflet. Rather than using an envelope to conceal the paper, they are sealed with an adhesive strip, making it a great way to cut down on mailing costs. They allow the flexibility to have more space available than smaller methods like postcards or flyers, meaning there is more room for detail to write about your company and attract new prospects and leads.

To ensure your mailer stands out against the rest, get creative with a bold colour scheme and eye-catching images so you can make a great first impression.



Sending letters is the most traditional and formal method of direct mail marketing, and are mostly effective when reaching professional clients to generate leads. Letters boast a room for personalisation and tend to be text-heavy with the focus on communicating to the receiver. Rather than focus on the design and layout, focus goes into the copy so you can personalise the perfect persuasive message for your prospect or client to take action.

Unlike a postcard or flyer, letters are contained within envelopes which gives off the impression that they contain important mail that is confidentially addressed to the intended receiver.



Catalogues are a hugely popular method of direct mail marketing and are most commonly used by companies who have numerous products available. Whether the catalogue is meant for existing customers to browse through your latest offerings, or whether you are targeting new customers to show your current range, catalogues boast a high audience engagement rate as they require physically opening and reading. 

For E-Commerce companies advertising products, catalogues can be a great way of showcasing a product range and therefore enticing recipients to visit their website for purchase. In this case it can be beneficial to use a campaign-specific coupon code so you are able to track the success of a catalogue mailer.


Dimensional Mail Pieces

Dimensional mailers are a form of interactive direct mail marketing and are an upgraded version on 2D self-mailers. Instead, dimensional mailers are 3-dimensional allowing you to get extra creative with an interactive and engaging mail piece to capture your audience’s attention.

Dimensional mailers can unfold, pop-up, have components which slide out and come in all shapes and forms. They tend to have a great response rate as they stand out. However they also come with a higher production cost. Be sure to get as creative as possible and ensure that your design is relevant with your target audience so you can achieve your return on investment.

Check out the dimensional mailer below, which was used by Volkswagen in a direct mail campaign. The VW logo opened into a snowflake and was used to engage with consumer over the winter season.


volkswagen direct mail

Political Direct Mail

Put simply, political direct mail is sending mail with some type of political purpose. This could range from anything from mailing information relating to an upcoming election, sending a weekly newsletter with information on political parties, or sending out party manifestos before an election is due. Another example of political mail includes anything promotional e.g. a flyer or postcard, for example promoting a particular cause or ideology. Political information may also be sent in the form of an information leaflet, which includes heavy copy to raise political awareness.

Despite the dominance in online political marketing collateral, there is still a heavy amount of political mailing which is posted every year throughout the UK. If you would like to find out why sending political mail is so effective, check out our blog here.


Postcard Marketing

Postcard marketing is a concise and simple method of sending a marketing message via the mail. Typically, postcards are used to send a brief message to a target consumer with a reminder or a special offer to redeem. They also benefit from the fact that they are cheap to produce and cheap to send, making it a quick and cost-effective method. What’s better is Postcards are available in a range of sizes, and although most tend to be small, oversized examples work to create an instant visual impact.

Check out our Postcard Marketing blog for some successful tips for your next campaign.


The Choice is Yours 

One of the most important things to consider when producing your next direct mail campaign is to make sure your mailing piece stands out and provides real value to your audience.

At Snapmail we offer a variety of different mailing types. If you would like to discuss your next direct mail campaign or simply find out a little more about the different direct mail campaigns we offer, contact us today for a free no obligation quotation.

For more information, please use our contact form or call us on 020 8492 5858 and one of our mailing specialists will be in touch soon.