By Ray Jutkins 
When should you use a self-mailer? A self-mailer combines a letter, a brochure, and response device into a single piece of paper. Obviously, a self-mailer is less expensive than a full package. But just being less expensive doesn’t make it more effective. 
Here are 7 times when you might choose to use a self-mailer: 
1. When you’re mailing to your own customers. Your own customers already know you. You’re probably mailing to them on a regular basis anyway. This is one of a series of contacts with your own customers. 
2. As part of a continuity program. When it’s one of a series of ongoing messages to a marketplace. This marketplace has heard from you before – they will hear from you again. 
3. When your message is very, very short. When you really don’t have a whole lot to say. When it’s important – but it’s not detailed. 
4. When you really expect a low response rate. You have something that is very much a commodity, or something that is so unusual very few people will want it. Mailing still makes sense, but a self-mailer will make the most economic sense. 
5. When it’s difficult to find the right audience. So, you don’t want to waste a lot of money mailing an exclusive package to an ill-defined audience. 
6. If you have a very large volume. You’re mailing hundreds of thousands or more. Economically your budget will not allow you to put together a full package. A self-mailer will work, because the numbers are big enough to make the back end work. 
7. If you have a very easy and simple offer. It’s a low financial commitment, it’s easy to understand. 
—- Ray Jutkins is a direct marketing specialist who works with business-to-business and consumer clients throughout the world. He published two books: Magic Marketing Minutes and Power Direct Marketing.