the same way clothes create a first impression for you.
Everyone likes a bit of respect now and then. If you are leaning toward your first direct mail program in quite some time or are a regular user of direct mail, or want to try direct mail, envelopes are a great option. For some unknown, envelopes get no respect.
From a practical point of view, an envelope is simply a container. It holds your letter, invitation, and other printed matter so they can be delivered to the recipient. Upon arrival, it is torn open and discarded. So, what’s the big deal?
The big deal is that an envelope is far more than a container. It creates a first impression and carries the burden of making sure the contents are read. If the envelope fails to create the right impression, the envelope is not opened and with its contents, discarded. The entire direct mail package, including your carefully crafted sales literature, is thrown into the trash.
Give your envelopes the respect they deserve!
The envelope must conform to expectations, fit the occasion, and give people a reason to spend at least a few minutes with you so you can say what you should say.
There are five basic types of mail:
- Personal or official communications
The default appearance is advertising, but the others can be useful. For example, if your company specializes in smart phones and you’ve just introduced an Internet service to avoid dropped calls, your prospects may assume any ad mailer from you is about phone services.
Make your mailer look like a publication or an official communication. Fitting the occasion is about making the envelope match the theme of your mailing. Is it an invitation, a notice, a personal letter, or something else?
Getting back to smart phones, a company has new accessories offered for sale. They decide to print on the envelope, a “free introductory offer” and look like an official notice. Your envelope should work with, not against, your theme. Copy as simple as “Look inside” or “Open immediately” can also do the job.
- We’ve seen a clear plastic envelope that allows people to see the contents.
- Enclosing a bulky item makes people wonder what’s inside.
- A valuable-looking certificate or gift card showing through a window makes the envelope impossible to ignore.
The envelope is arguably the single most important part of your direct mail package. Give it the respect it deserves and spend plenty of time creating and designing the “package.” There are many new and different envelopes and designs made to entertain the reader. An entertained reader may very well be your next new customer.
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