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What are Trifolds in Direct Mail Marketing?
Direct Mail
March 7, 2024

What are Trifolds in Direct Mail Marketing?

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When used right, the power of direct mail contributes significantly to marketing success. As countless case studies and research have shown, direct mail allows your business to form a genuine connection with your customers. The benefits of utilizing mailers include:

  • Sending data-informed offers and information that speak directly to the customer's needs.
  • Using marketing collateral that has a much higher response rate and open rate than emails or social media.
  • Offering customers information that is physical, tangible, and easy to act on.

One of the additional benefits of direct mail is that you can use many different mail formats Trifolds are one such example of a type of direct mailer that your business can use.

What are trifolds?

Trifolds are also known as self-mailers. As the name implies, these pieces are folded into three separate sections, allowing you ample space to communicate your message. One of the greatest advantages of trifolds is that they do not have to be pressed into an envelope. There's no need to manually add an address, return address, or stamp. Instead, the printing press does all this, saving you time and money.

The extra space that trifolds contain allows you to add marketing collateral that may not otherwise be available. For example, you can use trifolds to add coupons, QR codes, and other add-ons.

Trifolds may be more expensive than other mail forms, requiring extra glue, color, and heavier paper. However, this leads to a more impactful product that may increase your mailer's effectiveness and ROI. With the added space and ink costs, you can add graphics and formatting that would otherwise not be available. There are no envelopes or perforations to prevent the consumer from seeing your mail.

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Learn more about using trifolds in our mail format webinar

What industries use trifold self-mailers?

Trifolds are one of the most flexible available mail formats, used across multiple industries. Examples include:

  • Tourism and travel: The color and size of trifolds make them ideal for advertising vacation and travel destinations via brochures. You can also use these mailers to give out information on tour information or vacation packages.
  • Healthcare: The healthcare industry often uses these fliers to advertise wellness programs, patient information, or other forms of preventative healthcare that patients can use.
  • Education: Trifolds make ideal brochures advertising campuses, courses, newsletters, or event invitations.
  • Retail & eCommerce: The sky is truly the limit here — retail establishments can advertise products, services, events, product launches, and even give out coupons.
  • Entertainment: Trifolds are perfect for advertising an event (or series of events), merchandise, or subscription availability.
  • Real estate: Realtors can send large fliers with available homes and other listings, and direct mail that advertises realtors.
  • Financial services: The size of trifolds makes them perfect for advertising numerous loan and product offerings. Financial service businesses can use these mailers to give investment information or limited forms of financial advice.
  • Non-profits: Non-profits can use trifolds for donor engagement or send brochures on their offerings.
  • Automotive: Businesses can include information on cars, trucks, or store-wide sales.
  • Restaurant & food service: Trifolds are consistently used to give out menus and coupons.

What are the best practices for using trifolds in direct mail marketing?

Trifolds, like other forms of direct mail marketing, work best with specific tactics and strategies. Here are some important best practices to use with these direct mail form factors:

  • Ensure privacy: Mailers are glued shut. This adds a feeling of discretion and importance to the mailer. However, the front design must be enticing enough to encourage the recipient to open.
  • Use the space: Trifolds offer an incredibly high level of space for your mailing efforts, and you can use all of this space in a creative way that sells your brand and allows you to track the effectiveness of the mailer.
  • Focus on design: You can use a portrait or landscape design. Which one you select depends on your preferences.
  • Include a CTA: Your call to action must pop, be easy to access, and be clear. You can use websites, QR codes for specific landing pages, or phone numbers to encourage your recipient to respond.
  • Use bold colors: You need to use striking foreground and background colors to ensure that all of your design elements pop off the page and capture your recipients' attention.
  • Add personalization: The wide swath of available data ensures you can personalize your mailer to the customer. This is about more than just the name and address. With the right data, you can personalize offers, products, services, and more.
  • A/B test: A/B testing is when you change just one element of the mailer and then track which mailer does better. A/B testing can be expensive and time-consuming, but it allows you to refine your design to be the most impactful.

Tracking the results of your direct mail marketing

Trifolds can be very powerful direct mail marketing pieces, but only if you measure the results and learn what content works and doesn't. You can effectively track the results of your direct mail efforts in many ways. These include:

  • Response rates: How many customers respond to your mailer by contacting you for more information or purchasing from your business?
  • Conversion rates: What percentage of people who get your mailer convert into customers?
  • ROI: How much money did you get back from your mailer? Keep in mind that calculating ROI is often complex. If one mailer results in a lifetime customer of many years, it would be well worth the expense. However, it may take years to calculate the total value of this ROI.

How to get started with trifolds in your direct mail program

Trifolds can be one of the most powerful mail formats, and their utility depends largely on various direct mail form factors. At Lob, we're here to help. Our automated system lets you quickly upload your content and design specifications to send out the best possible product. It ensures you use the direct mail form factors that work best for your purposes.

Want to learn more? Schedule a demo with us, and let us show you how to get the most out of your direct mail marketing.

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