creating convincing fliers

What Is Mail Piece Printing?

If you're looking at mail piece printing options, you might not be sure if your project fits the category. After all, isn't everything going through the mail system a mail piece? The term has a distinct meaning in the printing business, though, so let's look at what it is and why that might be relevant to you.


Mail piece printing involves items aimed directly at consumers. These are usually advertisements of some kind, although some informational items that drive sales also fit this category. Some form letters are mail pieces, too. Catalogs can also be mail pieces. The common feature is scaled production at a certain threshold of quality.

A typical mail piece is the standard political campaign item you might see in your mailbox come October. The printer usually makes it with a higher quality of cardstock so it can survive going through the mail, being stuffed in a mailbox, and ending up tossed on an end table. It also will likely be a full-color product that uses graphics and photos to make a specific appeal.

Why Create Mail Pieces?

Mail printing serves a few purposes. Foremost, it is usually a relatively cheap way to send a high-quality product to many people. Secondly, it allows you to occupy some of the viewer's mental bandwidth while they look at the mail piece and decide whether they care. Finally, a mail piece offers pass-along capacity because folks may give the items to other people who they know would be interested.

Suppose you want to create a weekly coupon offer for a pizza place. This can be a mail piece. You will want to produce it on a scale of at least a few hundred items if not more. Likewise, you'll gain the viewer's attention because people typically like nice images of food. If the person doesn't necessarily want to buy pizza, they might still give the piece to someone else.

How to Produce a Great Mail Piece

Doing mail piece printing consistently well doesn't have to be a challenge. Focus on creating a core message for each piece. Use readable fonts for all text, and make sure to employ contrasting colors to separate your written copy from any surrounding images. Use high-quality images to foster visual appeal, too.

Similarly, be practical. Use quality paper or cardstock to keep the piece in good physical shape during mailing. Verify the dimensions of your pieces meet postal services specifications for bulk mailing to keep distribution costs down, too.