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A mailing is a mass mailing that is personally addressed, partially addressed or distributed as a direct mail. She is always advertising. Mailing is an instrument that is widely used today to address specific customer and target groups directly. It is the classic advertising medium in direct marketing .

Basic advantages of a mailing

  • In contrast to e-mail, they do not end up in the spam filter
  • Haptic perception of the printed mailing increases the response rate compared to the e-mail
  • Significantly cheaper than personal advertising contact (e.g. representative, trade fair)
  • Personal and direct contact with the target person
  • Personalization within the advertising message possible
  • Good success control
  • Extensive design options (embossing, punching , 3D mailing, self-mailers )
  • Realizable for different company sizes
  • Unlike e-mailings or telemarketing customers may not opt-in to be contacted
  • Addressed mailings are distributed despite the " No advertising " sign
  • Extensive selection options possible
  • Test scenarios with different mailing variants are possible

Basic disadvantages of a mailing

Legal situation according to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

According to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which has been final and effective since May 25, 2018, Art. 6 (1) (f) applies to direct mail (this also includes mailings), which refers to Recital 47: The processing of personal data for The purposes of direct marketing can be viewed as processing serving a legitimate interest and therefore does not require explicit consent ( opt-in ). However, customers retain their written right of objection ( opt-out) to object to advertising by post.

Variants of a mailing

Addressed mailing

In a fully addressed mailing, own addresses (existing customers, active / inactive customers or interested parties) or address data from address dealers (so-called address brokers ) are advertised (new customer mailing ). The feature of this type of mailing is that a full address is used.

Partially addressed mailing

The partially addressed mailing does not contain a name, just a salutation, the street with house number and the postcode and town. The typical salutation for this is: "To the residents of the house ..." This type of mailing was developed by Deutsche Post, which also exclusively markets the database of the partial addresses for this purpose via partners such as Schober . The advantage for the advertiser is that he can send his mailing to specific target groups. Among other things, you can select according to area of ​​distribution, age, living situation, purchasing power or focus of consumption. Another advantage is that wastage is avoided. The customer selects before the print order and then receives the maximum possible number of households or individuals to be contacted. In this way, the print run of the products to be printed can be optimized.

The advertiser can then integrate the real addresses generated by the order into his customer database.

Unaddressed mailing (direct mail)

This mailing corresponds to the classic direct mail .

There are two options for this in Germany :

  • Direct mail to all households
  • Direct mail with daily mail

This mailing can be selected via the distribution area (certain postcode areas, federal states, or metropolitan areas). The advertiser then decides whether he will only supply those households with advertising in the distribution area that will also receive other mail on that day (“daily mail”), or whether he will also supply everyone else with advertising (“to all households”).

Types of mailing production

Enveloped mailing

One or more parts are put together in an envelope or mailer and closed by machine (manually for small editions). The address is either visible through a window or is printed on the envelope before or after.


  • Mailings can be designed in such a way that the recipient perceives them to be of high quality (paper type, font, embossing, stamp, etc.). This increases the acceptance and opening rate.
  • The content of the mailing is not visible from the outside.
  • Several brochures / products / flyers can be enveloped together.

Sealed mailing

One or more parts are brought together and shrink-wrapped in foil. The address is previously printed on an address label and can be read through the foil.


  • Shrink-wrapped mailings are profitable for large print runs.
  • Several brochures / products / flyers can be welded together - a so-called package .
  • If there are several or thick products, shrink-wrapping is cheaper than enveloping.
  • Perfectly bound catalogs can be welded in without any problems.


  • The recycling of the material is made more difficult, as the content (mostly paper) of unopened, discarded items first has to be separated from the film in a laborious process

Self mailer

Main article: Self-mailer

In the case of a stapled or folded product, a flap is placed around the open side and sealed with glue or labels and made ready for post.


  • Easier production compared to conventional mailing due to fewer components.
  • The discounts for closed - and thus machine -compatible - mail items are retained.

Open shipping

Perfectly bound or stapled catalogs / brochures are addressed and made ready for post without wrapping.


  • This is the cheapest type of production.
  • Large print runs can be produced quickly.

Postcard mailings

Main article: Postcard mailing

A postcard mailing is a printed postcard that is uploaded directly to the Internet for advertising purposes or is designed and personalized there. In contrast to the e-card, it is printed and handed over to the post office for dispatch.

In the professional environment, postcard mailings are often used for marketing purposes. Your greatest advantage: there is no "hurdle" envelope. The recipient immediately comes into contact with the sender's offer. The comparatively simple design, combined with the largest possible circulation, make it an innovative direct marketing instrument. Postcards attract more attention in the mail than conventional advertising letters.


The print runs range from a few hundred to several million items. Either every letter is identical except for the address, or it is geared even more closely to the individual addressee with an individual letter text ("Dear Mr. Mustermann ...") . Furthermore, digital printing technology offers the possibility of adapting entire image worlds within a mailing to the individual characteristics of the target group (gender, age, etc.). Lettershops , bookbinders and printers offer very extensive possibilities for this. For classic variants such as enveloped mailings, self-mailers or postcards, extremely high-performance mailing platforms are also available, which can be used to create and order online mailings.

If a give-away is to be included, the following considerations are important: In small quantities, manual production by hand is possible. In addition, the give-away should be machine-compatible. Furthermore, it must not have any sharp corners or edges (e.g. ballpoint pens), as this can lead to a disruption in the automatic processing in the mail center.

If the give-away is enclosed loosely in the envelope, it must be checked to what extent it can be processed mechanically. The feed machines usually need a flat, closed edge of approx. 5 cm in order to be able to grip. So-called "pick & place" feeders are used for CDs or bulky enclosures. Here the top of the product must be flat so that a rubber suction cup can grip the product.

For this reason, give-aways should ideally be discussed with the lettershop before production.

Deutsche Post AG regulations

Infopost stamp (old)
Infopost logo (Deutsche Post AG, 2008)
Address window of a window envelope, IT franking , dialogue mail
Frankierwelle Dialogpost National 2016

A mailing can be sent with Deutsche Post AG or by alternative postal services.

In the case of the Dialogpost form of dispatch (which was called Infopost until December 31, 2015 ), the content of the mail items must be "identical in content". However, deviations are permitted with regard to the salutation and other personal information. However, specific individual information, such as the amount of a payment obligation for an invoice, is not permitted. Since January 1, 2020, only advertising content is allowed. This serves to implement the court decision of the Cologne Administrative Court, judgment of March 26, 2019, with which the lawsuit against an order by the Federal Network Agency was dismissed. The Federal Network Agency saw the granting of discounts for originally business, non-promotional programs an obstacle to competition. By excluding these non-promotional business mailings from the heavily discounted Dialogpost product, competitors are to be strengthened who cannot offer such low prices for business mailings due to a different cost structure.

There is also the special form of vario mailing. In each mailing variant, only one single component has to be identical, for example the enclosed brochure. For example, the cover letter in the regular customer mailing variant can be modified in order to give regular customers a special offer.

The minimum print run for Germany-wide Dialogpost dispatch is 4,000 pieces. If the amount to be sent is lower, you can 'pay up'. If you are restricted to a routing region where the first two digits of the postcode match, the minimum quantity is 200 pieces per routing region. Dialogpost must be sorted in ascending or descending order by postcode, using all digits of the postcode.

The discountable basic prices for Dialogpost are per shipment plus 19% VAT since January 1, 2020:

format Price
Standard postcard 0.28 20th L: 150… 235
W: 90… 125
H: up to 5
Standard letter 0.30 50
0.35 50
Large 0.45 50 L: 140… 353
W: 90… 250
H: up to 30
0.58 100
0.72 250
0.79 500
0.92 1000

Special discounts are granted for large, multi-variant mailings, for example for container production with a zip code and other preparatory work in the letter shop . This only becomes practical if there are more than 10,000 items. The information letter previously used for smaller print runs was dropped on January 1, 2013 without replacement. Dialogpost Easy has been available nationwide since January 2016 with at least 500 items. The postage is € 0.10 higher than that of the Dialogpost. A surcharge is also possible here.

Dialogpost is delivered to the destination mail center and processed further. Customers can either deliver the items directly to the destination mail center or drop them off at depots or have them picked up. The transport to the destination mail center takes place outside the normal mail delivery. In the destination mail center, the mail items are distributed to the respective delivery bases and mixed there with the other mail items. Dialogpost is only delivered Tuesday to Saturday and has a standard delivery time of up to four days.

Dialogpost was known as Infopost until December 31, 2015, and as mass print until August 31, 1993 . The info letter was available until December 31, 2012; it was known as printed matter until March 31, 1993 .


  • Boge, Harry: Franking at the Deutsche Post with the "Frankierwelle" , series of publications Harburger Briefmarkensammler-Verein von 1920 e. V., Report No. 3. 2010.

Individual evidence

  1. GDPR-safe: Postal mailings still do not require an opt-in | optilyz. Retrieved June 6, 2018 .
  2. Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Julia Berger: The ten best performing online mailing configurators , , February 2, 2012.
  4. Deutsche Post AG: Guide: Automated letter mail. Retrieved October 31, 2019 .
  5. Cologne Administrative Court, judgment of March 26, 2019, file number 25 K 3396/12. Retrieved May 30, 2020 .
  6. ^ Deutsche Post: Dialogpost. Accessed December 1, 2018 .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Mailing  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations