Self-Mailers on the Rise

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The use of self-mailers, self-contained mail pieces printed on one roll of paper and folded instead of being placed in envelopes, is seeing a resurgence among financial services, retail and drugstore marketers, said Bob Hackett, vice president of sales for RRD Direct.

Self-mailers can be printed at a much quicker and cheaper rate than standard mail pieces because the production process is streamlined from a multiple step to one-step process. The pieces, which can use high-impact color and graphics on the cover, are printed, personalized, folded, perforated/die-cut and mailed with no manual involvement. Business reply cards are part of a single fold-out piece. Presses for self-mailers travel at an average of 1,000 feet per minute. Standard mail pieces require forms, brochures, lift notes, business reply cards/envelopes and outer envelopes to be printed individually. Presses travel at speeds of no more than 300 feet per minute.

RRD Direct, a division of RR Donnelley & Sons, Chicago, produces self-mailers for credit card issuers First USA, Wilmington, DE, and Discover, among others.

Discover spokeswoman Cathy Edwards said the Riverwoods, IL, issuer sends only a small percentage of offers via self-mailers but said they are cheaper to produce and can be printed more quickly. Discover uses self-mailers for both pre-approved and non-approved offers and for promotional offers to existing customers.

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