Format - 4 - Snap Pack Mailer

The Snap Pack Mailer


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The Snap Pack Mailer is a very popular direct mail format for certain financial and insurance products.

Its most recognizable feature is the perforated dotted lines that appear on both sides of the outer envelope.  Recipients are invited to tear open the envelope from either side.                                               

Snap pack mailers are actually just a single sheet of paper that is personalized and folded into an envelope with perforated side openings.  The paper sheet can be either 8.5 x 11 or 8.5 x 14.

Typically, the inside will include a short letter and a response device (or a check) – both personalized and perforated to allow for easy separation.

As a format, the snap pack mailer offers some very nice advantages:

  • Personalization – it can be fully personalized to the individual recipient
  • Engagement – the dotted line perforations on the side are hard to resist
  • Price – because everything is done on one machine, snap packs are highly automated and very affordable


The snap pack reputation

Snap packs suffer from a reputation problem.  Most of the snap packs you see these days have a similar look – an official looking document, pronouncement of urgent information inside, a hard-sell letter with big claims on the inside and very often a fake check of some random dollar amount.

These are “formula” pieces for many snap pack printers.  They are designed to scare or fool the reader into opening the envelope. The copy on the inside makes a lot of unsubstantiated claims.  And the checks have no value but are used again to fool the reader into responding.

These types of snap packs aren’t for everyone.  Even if they produce the highest response rates (and I haven’t seen any test results to show that), most companies would never want to be associated with this creative approach.

That doesn’t mean snap packs aren’t good formats.  Snap packs can be used with more conventional creative approaches.   You still get all the advantages – personalization, engagement and price – but the messaging is more in line with your own brand.

It’s worth a look – or at least a test.


To learn more …

Please contact Bob McCarthy at 508-473-8643 or bob@mccarthyandking.com.  Or fill in the form below.

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