The envelope please…

Envelope Believe it or not…there are books written about the variety of envelopes. And they have huge glossaries of envelope terms. As I flipped through them, I realized that some were new to me, so I thought you might like to bone up on your envelope knowledge.

B.R.E. (I started with an easy one):  Business Reply Envelope. This usually has a first class permit, indicia and return address pre-printed on envelope. 

Flush cut: to cut flush means to cut the top flap off the envelope.

Point:  A unit of thickness equal to 1/1000 of an inch.

Blank: Paper stock that is die cut into appropriate envelope shape. When folded and glued, it becomes an envelope.

McIntyre Corners: Predominantly found in booklet style envelopes. Notches are made at the top of the two side seam shoulders to facilitate automatic insertion.

Thumb cut: A notched opening to allow easy access to contents.

Think about it….if you are sending a direct mail piece…why not improve the odds of your piece getting opened by doing something interesting with the envelope?

What have you done with the packaging of a direct mail piece to get your audience's attention?

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10 comments on “The envelope please…

  1. One of the most interesting things I’ve ever seen done with envelopes is the Minnesota-based ecoEnvelopes. They sell envelopes made from recycled material that can be used twice. It works perfectly for companies that send out bills, and the envelopes still look normal! Plus, it saves the company money because one ecoEnvelope is cheaper than two regular envelopes.

    I think it’s a really interesting idea, and a good way for companies to show that they care about the environment.

  2. John Jackson says:

    There have been times when I have deliberately run postcard campaigns which of course mean you don’t need any envelopes, saving creative, production and postage costs.
    In partuicular this has worked for campaigns aimed at people running their own small buisnesses, firstly beacuase they are likely to receive their own mail as opposed to a PA and secondly they are under great time pressures so they the can see the message immediately.
    The campains I have run have used cartoon characters to promote the use of eCommerce in business and I would suggest that any postcard campain needs to have a highly creative execution to grab attention and get the message read.

  3. Drew, I love it when you talk direct mail … envelopes also have wonderful names like Baronial and Monarch or simply numbers like #10, #9 and even #7-3/4. Booklet styles and catalog styles and all manner of windows and die-cuts.

    Envelopes are like a strip tease … revealing only a glimpse of the promise within until you begin to remove the layers.

  4. It’s expensive to do something cool with envelopes. Why does it cost so much to have a simple bleed on them?

  5. Katie,

    I had never heard of envelopes like that. Smart branding for an environmentally friendly company!


  6. Cam,

    Okay, that was awesome. I wish I had known, I might have ordered a copy from them too! I’ll bet that will be a collector’s item of sorts.

    Talk about branding your packaging to your audience. As Ron would say, “bloody brilliant!”


  7. John,

    Agreed — a postcard campaign needs to grab the audience’s attention very quickly before it finds its way into the circular file.

    Did you find a particular creative execution that really worked?


  8. Roberta,

    “Envelopes are like a strip tease … revealing only a glimpse of the promise within until you begin to remove the layers.”

    I love that. So true. And much like the art of strip tease…we know that sometimes it is much more enticing to tease a little, rather than you just expose everything at the outset.

    How often, on the campaigns you use, do you use the envelope as one of your communication tools?


  9. Mike,

    Envelopes with bleeds cost more because you have to buy the stock unassembled and trim before you glue. So it’s more labor and paper.

    But sometimes the extra expense is worth it.


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