direct mail, direct marketing, nashville direct marketing

Unlike digital marketing, direct mail is tangible and offers a number of physical formats.

Not all direct mail formats are created equal, however.

Some perform better than others, and if you’re on a budget, it’s important to know which ones to invest in, to guarantee the highest rate of response.

So which direct mail formats perform the best?

Oversized Envelopes

According to the recent DMA Response Rate Report, oversized envelopes received the highest rate of response for any direct mail format at 5%.

This success is due to a number of things.

Oversized envelopes have a commanding presence that incites recipients’ curiosity.

They don’t simply fade into the background with the standard sized envelopes and postcards.

They stand out.

Their formidable size also allows companies to get creative with their designs, and provides ample space for including and situating information in an attractive way.

Because oversized envelopes can allow for more creative design and stand out amid standard mail, they make a great option for companies who have the budget and the design skills to utilize them.


In the DMA report, postcards came in second in rate of response, with 4.25% of postcard recipients responding.

Unlike oversized envelopes, postcards offer a straightforward, unfettered experience for recipients.

A postcard offers instant gratification in terms of presenting your offer to a recipient—all they have to do is read.

There’s no fumbling with opening an envelope or unfolding a piece of paper.

Postcards are also extremely affordable, allowing you to focus on design and presentation rather than paying for expensive envelopes or packaging.


A catalog is one of the most experiential forms of direct mail.

They often combine breathtaking design and crisp, high-definition photography, creating an extremely compelling physical presentation of products.

A number of top companies have held tight to creating and disseminating gorgeous catalogs, especially as part of integrated digital and direct mail marketing campaigns.

In modern times, catalogs have adapted beautifully to the changing expectations of customers.

“These days, retailers are employing devices like adventure tales and photo spreads of wildlife to catch a shopper’s eye, hoping to secure purchases online or in a store,” says Rebecca Ruiz in the New York Times.

For many companies who send out catalogs, the focus is not on acquiring new customers, but in inspiring existing ones to make fresh purchases.

Indeed, catalogs had an impressive 3.9% rate of response according to the DMA report, placing them just behind postcards in response rate success.

Dimensional Mail

Another high-performing format of direct mail is dimensional mailers.

What is dimensional mail, you ask?

It’s defined by the Direct Marketing Association as any piece of mail that’s more than three-quarters of an inch thick.

It can take many forms, including boxes and cylinders, and it’s great for inspiring curiosity in your recipients.

Dimensional mail feels a little bit like a present. It has a wow factor that flat mailers can’t emulate.

The response rate of dimensional mail has stayed reliably high over the past few years.

According to the DMA report, dimensional mailers had a response rate of 4.0%, placing them ahead of catalogs and just behind postcards.

Explore Direct Mail Formats Today

If you’re interested in expanding your direct mail offerings, AMi, Inc is here to help.

We can help you choose the most powerful form of direct mail for your company and offer.

Contact us today to learn more about our services.