Postcards vs Letters in Direct Mail Marketing

Postcards vs Letters

You’re getting ready to start your next direct mail marketing campaign. You’ve decided on your targeted demographic and why you’re running the campaign, now all that’s left is deciding on the creative aspects. One question you’ll likely be asked when creating your campaign is if you want to send a postcard or letter mailer.

To help you learn the differences between postcards vs. letters in direct mail marketing, we at Aspen Automotive have created this helpful guide. Ready to learn more? Keep reading!

Postcards: The Smaller Eye-Catching Option


Postcard mailers are one of the popular choices when it comes to direct mail marketing. Let’s take a look at some of the requirements, benefits, and possible setbacks to choosing postcards as your chosen mailer size!

Requirements for Postcard Direct Mail

According to USPS, postcards are a single sheet of paper sent to an address.1 They must also meet certain size requirements:

  • Rectangular in size
  • At least 3.5 inches by 5 inches
  • No more than 4.25 inches by 6 inches
  • No more than 0.016 inches thick

Anything larger than these dimensions are considered letters.

Benefits to Choosing Postcards

When someone goes to their mailbox, there’s a chance that your postcard will automatically stand out from everything else. That’s because there’s no envelope encasing the bold colors and unique design of your postcard. This way, it’s likely that your postcard design will stand out from the otherwise white contrast of the other envelopes.

Postcards are also relatively inexpensive. Most postcards cost less than 35 cents to send out, and depending on the size of your order, you may qualify for machinable or automation rates, which lower the cost of mailing.

Setbacks to Choosing Postcards

Due to their size, you have less marketing space to work with. If you want to talk about the features of a vehicle that just in your inventory or the benefits of routine maintenance, you may not have a lot of room.

If you have a lot of information you need to share with the recipients, postcards may not be the route to go.

Letters: The Larger Personal Option

Reading Letter

Letters are another popular choice for direct mail marketing. Similar to postcards, letters have their own set of requirements, as well as their own pros and cons. Let’s take a look!

Requirements for Letter Direct Mail

Letters are larger or multiple pieces of mail folded to fit inside an envelope.2 Since there are many different envelope sizes, letters offer a little more flexibility in terms of requirements:

  • Rectangular in size
  • At least 3.5 inches by 5 inches
  • No more than 6.125 inches by 11.5 inches
  • No more than 0.25 inches thick

Anything larger than this may be charged extra.

Benefits to Choosing Letters

Letters allow you to go into detail about certain features thanks to the ability to send folded pieces of paper inside. In addition to having more room to explain your services, letters give you space to share a more comprehensive message about your dealership.

Letters also allow you to personalize the direct mail by handwriting the recipient’s address, signing the letter yourself, and much more.

Setbacks to Choosing Letters

Because of their size, sending out letters will cost more than postcards. Typically, sending a letter will cost somewhere around 50 cents per letter. Depending on the size of your campaign and your budget, this may affect your marketing campaign.

Postcards vs Letters in Direct Mail Marketing: Which Will You Choose?

When comparing postcards vs. letters in direct mail marketing, both are viable options that offer several benefits. Because of the numerous benefits each option provides, you may find yourself going back and forth between options depending on your campaign.

Having someone by your side always helps when making decisions. Our automotive marketing experts are here to you decide whether postcards or letters is the better option for your campaign. Ready to get started? Simply give us a call or send us an email today!