Postalytics now offers Direct Mail Bifold Self Mailers! Self mailers are cost effective and add valuable real estate to your design. With , allowing more creative space than a postcard, and there’s no need for an envelope, like with a letter package.

Customers in the US can choose from two size options: 6” x 18” and 12” x 9”. 

At this time, the Bifold Self Mailer is only available in the US, but we're working with our Canadian print partner to be able to offer this format to our Canadian customers in a future release.

Learn more about Bifold Self Mailers

We understand that not everyone has access to creative designers, so we’ve made it easy to create templates, from scratch, in the Postalytics Direct Mail Editor.

If you’re new to using the Postalytics Editor, be sure to review Understanding the Postalytics Direct Mail Editor.

How To Create Direct Mail Bifold Self Mailer Templates

To begin, select the Creative drop down menu from your Postalytics Home Page, and then select 'New Template'.

You’ll arrive at the Create Template page, where you’ll select the option 'Create in Editor'.

Next, Choose Your Template Type 'Bifolds (Multiple Sizes)', and then Choose Your Template Size.

In this example, we’ll create a 6” x 18” template. Name your template in the top section before moving on.

It’s important to remember the safe area and bleed area when designing your template, so you’ll want to keep the following in mind:

postcard bleed safe areas

Below are the size specifications, which include the bleed and safe areas.

6”x18” Bifold Self Mailer

12” x 9” Bifold Self Mailer 

Designing Your Bifold Self Mailer

The Outside

The Postalytics Editor will start with the design canvas for the outside of your self mailer. If you’d prefer to start with the inside, click the tab “Inside” at the top. 

The left outside panel includes the return address, recipient address and postage area. 

You can toggle this off so that it isn’t seen in the template, however, you won’t want to have any design elements within this area as it will be whited out for the printer to add this area.

Design elements can be added anywhere else on this panel.

In both the Outside and Inside canvas area you’ll also see the fold line, as a dotted line through the center. 

**An important note about the fold mark: there can be a variance of up to 1/16” due to shifting during print and trim. Allowing for that variance within the design is recommended. 


You may already have images uploaded to the free Postalytics Asset Manager to use in your design, but if not, we’ve got you covered with the Postalytics Free Image Database. 

To search the database for an image, click on the image icon in the Build section and drag it over to your canvas. Click on the image icon in the canvas, then head over to the Template Properties panel tab on the right of the canvas.

Under Front Template Settings, click 'Search' to browse the free image database.

create direct mail templates - image search

Once in the database, you can use the Keyword search feature to search for images that relate to your design. In this example we’ve searched for “dog” to use as a background image. You’ll notice that the only images available are the images that have at least the minimum size requirements to be used for an image.

Select the image you’d like to use and it will populate onto the canvas in the image area you placed. 

If you’ve uploaded images to the Asset Manager, instead of searching within the free images, you will select 'Browse', just above the free image and you’ll be taken to the Asset Manager to choose your image from there. 

Background images

Background images are images that will populate the entire area of the front or back of the mailpiece. These images can be your own, that have been uploaded into the Asset Manager, or you can search the free image database, in a similar way as outlined above.

The only difference is that you won’t drag the image icon over to the canvas. You’ll simply click on the blank canvas area, then click on the Template Properties panel tab on the right of the canvas and follow the same steps to add the background image.

If you’ll be uploading your own images to use as background images in the design, be sure they are sized correctly.

Recommended Background Image Sizes

To ensure highest background image quality, we recommend downloading and cropping images to the following sizes:

12” x 9” Bi-Fold Self Mailer

H x W (in)
H x W (px)
12.25” x 9.25”
3675 x 2775

6” x 18” Bi-Fold Self Mailer

H x W (in)
H x W (px)
6.25” x 18.25”
1875 x 5475

In our sample design, we’ve selected a free image with the correct size specifications and have also added other design elements, including a QR code to the outside of this template. We cover adding elements below, so please continue on.

Now, let's move on to the inside panels. The examples used in the following Inside panel design can also be used for the Outside design as well.

The Inside

Click on the tab 'Inside' at the top of the canvas to toggle to the inside panel canvases.

These panels will typically be where your messaging, your offer, and the call to action are laid out. Be sure to include any personalization you’re including in your data here so that the messaging stands out to your recipients. 

If you have additional images to use, drag and drop the image icon and either upload your images or select from the free image library.

You’ll notice that the Right Inside Panel canvas includes an area for the "Glue Zone". Although your design can be included in this area, you won’t want to have any pertinent design elements or copy in this area as the adhesive can blur or tear apart as it's being opened by the recipient.

Some helpful tips for designing the inside panels:

  • Add shapes and color by using the left Build panel to drag and drop the elements onto the canvas. You can Increase the width and height by double clicking the element and dragging the small blue positioning boxes up and down.
  • Use the Properties and Styles panel to raise or lower the transparency under the Color option.
  • Add text boxes by dragging the T icon from the left Build panel to the canvas and use the right panel (Properties and Styles tab) to change the font style, the color, and the font sizes.
  • Drag the horizontal line icon from the left Build panel to the canvas and change the color to white with the Properties and Styles panel.
  • Adjust the width by double clicking the element and dragging the small blue boxes that appear, to the left and right.

Adding Personalization

To add Variable Data, drag the T icon to the canvas, double click the element, then click the Variable Data icon in the left Personalize panel.

A pop-up window will appear with a drop menu to Choose the Variable Data field you want to use.

Other personalization options include:

Add pURL and/or QR Code

Drag the pURL or QR Code icon from the left Track panel to the canvas. The pURL will be at the top of the canvas and can be placed wherever you’d like it within the canvas. The QR code can also be placed and resized using the blue border surrounding the QR image.

The pURL and QR Code that you set up in the template is a “variable” or placeholder. It will ultimately point your users to a pURL that is generated when your campaign is completed. When you set up a campaign that uses a template with a pURL or QR Code, you’ll be asked to define a pURL structure, as well as the landing page that you want the recipient to access when they scan your QR. We’ve got additional information here.

Note: Each variable, including pURLs, have different character lengths. It is very important to map out an appropriate amount of space in the design to accommodate the longest First Names, pURLs or other types of variable data used. 

Proofing Your Template

Once you are satisfied with your design and are ready to create your campaign, you’ll need to proof the template. This step cannot be missed or the template won’t be available to select during the campaign creation process.

We’ll walk through the steps here, and you can learn more about the Postalytics Proofer in our help article The Proofer – Generate A Direct Mail Template Proof.

In the top right corner, click “Proof Template”, shown in red.

create direct mail templates - proof template

You’ll arrive at The Template Proofer Setup page where you will select your data source, either using Sample Data or Your Data to populate the variable fields you’ve added to your template.

Next, set up the return address. Postalytics automatically defaults to the return address from the profile, but this can be changed here.

If you’ve included a pURL or QR Code, the next step will be to set up the online audience tracking. Note that these will not be live and are for proofing purposes only. You will need to complete these steps again when you are creating your campaign.

To set up the online audience tracking, you will:

  • Choose your Domain
  • Pick A Style
  • Choose a URL Ending

Next, click 'Start Proofing'. The editor is now preparing your proofs for viewing. 

create direct mail templates - proof rendering

Once the high resolution PDF proofs have been processed, you’ll be able to carefully review all of your design elements, along with the data and any variable fields you may have added. You can also download and even print the proof for closer review.

The Proofer allows you to toggle through multiple proofs to see the impact of the longest names, addresses and other variables.

It's important to note that the image will show the "crop marks", or where the mailpiece will be trimmed. See sample image below:

On the left side of the proofer, there is a series of specific items that you’ll be reviewing and confirming by checking the box at the bottom. Once the review and box has been checked, click “Next” to move to the next screen. These are important elements to review on the proofs before finalizing the proof.

It is extremely important to review how the variable data populates within your proofs.

Finalizing the Proof for Use in a Campaign

If you’re ready to finalize the proof, then click the last check box, add your initials, and click the green box 'Accept Final Proof!'. 

Now that your template has been proofed, it will have a green check mark in the Proofed column within your template library. Your finished, proofed template will now be available to select in the Campaign Wizard when you are building a Postalytics Smart Send or Triggered Drip campaign. 

If you need further assistance, please feel free to Contact Us.