A mailer is a piece of direct mail that advertisers send to targeted groups of customers. Mailers commonly come in the form of standard postcards or folded flyers. A mailer contains information about a product, person, or service and is designed for quick viewing. A savvy advertiser recognizes that he could have a very small window to grab the reader's attention, so this compact ad format can be very useful.

Choose a layout program to create the mailer. Common programs include Microsoft Word, Publisher, or Adobe InDesign.

Determine the format and corresponding size you want for your mailer. For a standard postcard, size the document between 3.5 by 5 inches and 4.25 by 6 inches (height by width). For a folded flyer, size the document to a standard 8.5-by-11-inch piece of paper. See "Resources" for more possible formats and sizes to consider for a United States Postal Service approved mailer.

Create two pages in your document layout (front and back of the mailer). If you chose a folded mailer, create a line in the document to separate the top and bottom of the document (the line is where you'll fold the mailer in half).

Set up the side that will contain the recipient information and stamp area first. Insert a small square in the right top corner for the stamp, print your return address in the top left corner, and create a box on the right lower side to designate where your recipient mailing labels will go. (If you chose a folded flyer, keep in mind that the bottom half of the first page of your document is the panel that will contain the recipient's address information.)

Add a call to action or short description of your product or service to a blank area of the front side of the mailer (the side containing recipient address and stamp) if you want.

Insert details (text and images) about your company, product, service, or person you're advertising on the second page of the document. If you chose a folded mailer, you can add more information to the top half of the first page.

Print the mailer on card stock paper (between 65- and 90-pound stock). Fold the mailer in half if you chose a folded flyer and close it with a wafer seal (sticker tab). Leave this task to a copy shop if you want a professional result.

Purchase stamps for your mailers--or ask your local postal representative about discounted rates for bulk mail--and attach your mailing labels to each piece (see "Resources" for guidance on how to create mailing labels).

Items you will need

  • Layout program

  • Cardstock paper

  • Wafer seals (optional)