Postcards, Brochures or Letters?

At MARKOTS we want to recommend the format for your direct mail project that has the highest chance of helping you attain your marketing goals. Please read the information and comparison table we have provided below to help you in your decision making process. There is no such thing as the perfect direct mail campaign, there are trade-offs that you have to make and you are the best person to make those choices based on your business goal.

It helps to have a clear vision of what you are trying to accomplish in your marketing campaign. Do you want to drive in new prospects right away? Do you want to create more brand recognition in your neighborhood? Do you want to inform current customers about an important event or product? Marketing is an art and a science. What we have here may help you in the process.

Don’t get caught up worrying about the perfect strategy and the perfect format . Instead, have fun by taking the time on educating yourself and then testing out one or two campaigns to see how it works out for your business. One of the advantages of working with MARKOTS is that we do not try to over-sell you things and we encourage clients to start with smaller quantities and build on their outcomes and experience. This allows you to experiment rather than being stressed out getting it perfectly right the first time. And never forget, 40% of the success in a direct mail campaign depends on targeting the right people (list) and another 40% is attributed to a good “offer” in the mail piece. Formats, design and other content only take the remaining 20%.


This is the most popular format used by businesses as evidenced in your own mailbox. Postcards should be used if you plan on driving in new customers or get out to current clients to inform them of a special offer. When planning out the content of the postcard, don’t write long sentences and paragraphs. Attention spans are short, the goal of the postcard it to capture a prospect’s attention right away with a catchy heading or enticing offer. If you decide on adding a lot of text content on the postcard, confine that to the back side of the postcard. The most common phrases that catch attention are “FREE” or “50% OFF”. Don’t shy away from promoting free or BOGO services because it can be a start of a great relationship with your customers. Keep in mind that when a household owner sees a postcard with a great offer, it is almost impossible to for them to ignore the card.


-Cost effective

-Fast design turn-around

-Prospects hold on to them if they like the offer


-Some high income household residents have a negative view about postcards and consider it “Junk mail”

-Not enough room to add all your services


Our 8.5 x 11 sized brochures (bi-fold or tri-fold) is a suitable route to take if you want to list a lot of services or products and explain them in detail. Many businesses that market consumer or industrial products mail out brochures. They use the inside three panels to add images and detailed explanations of their products. If your main goal is to inform potential customers about some service or product events that requires lots of images and text to convey the message, then taking the brochure route is a suitable option for you. Many restaurants order folded brochures and include their full menu inside the panels (menu mailings). Remember, when planning your content for your brochure, one of the outer panels will have your business name, logo, address , postal indicia as well as space to insert the address of the recipient.


-Enough room “real estate” to add a lot of information.

-Full colored in all panels.


-Design turnaround may be longer than postcards, depending on the amount of information you want to add.

-Prospect may not have time to read all of the information on brochure and may throw it away if your marketing piece is not solid.

Letter Mailers

Letters are great in the business-to-business marketing environment as they are more likely to reach the decision-maker than a postcard which may be intercepted by the gate-keeper. It also allows you to add additional inserts like forms, full color brochures or Business Reply Cards. If you have some sensitive data (mortgage delinquency, bankruptcy, divorce etc) and wish to personalize your letter by proposing a specific service), that would only be recommended through a letter in an envelope. Letter mailers are commonly used in the financial sector (credit cards, mortgage brokers, insurance agents and real estate agents ) but other types of businesses can benefit from them as well.


-Envelope and documents looks really professional

-More privacy

-Great for campaigns that have goal of getting the sale (or donation) in one step and therefore requiring long copy and explanation

-Higher chance of passing gate-keeper


-Some prospects don’t have time to read a letter mailer

-Can get a little expensive