Your Go-To Guide: Direct Marketing Formatting & Usage

Holiday planning is now. Need a refresh on formatting & usage? Our pleasure:

Full trim size catalog (8.5 x 10.5, 28 plus pages)

  • Reliable for driving response and sales; assume at least 60 products for traditional categories (2-3 items per page on average)
  • Abundance of space story-telling
  • Can put a very effective piece in the mail for less than $0.55 including postage

Digest size catalog (6 x 9, 20 plus pages)

  • Very affordable (approximately $0.46 per piece)
  • Can be successful for the second mailing within a season or to drive a specific product launch or collection, such as holiday gifts
  • Like the “Slim Jim” (6 x 10) – also very effective because of postal and paper efficiencies

Tri-fold (6 panels) or double gatefold (8 panels) (must be at least 6 x 9)

  • Cost-effective (under $0.44 per piece, depending on quantity)
  • Should not be used to push a wide assortment
  • Useful for traditional brands (such as apparel or home)
  • These pieces are most applicable for events or special promos like “Friends and Family”
  • For brands with a narrow product assortment, these pieces can be used to drive awareness and conversion because the 6 or 8 panels is enough to communicate the value and benefits of one hero product

Folded cards (in envelopes)

  • Most effective for triggered mailings such as the customer’s birthday or one-year anniversary of purchase
  • Must include an offer such as a $15 gift card to be effective – can be executed with a unique coupon code

Oversized postcards (thumbs down!)

  • We rarely recommend a postcard
  • Postcards should only be used to drive big sale events to existing customers, not to be sent to prospects

We are happy to expand upon any of the insight discussed here. Please feel free to reach out to Polly at

Polly Wong