Direct mail tricks: The envelope

23277567 And the envelope says…..hopefully your direct mail envelopes are saying, "Open me!"  Many marketers put a great deal of time and effort into what’s inside the envelope but completely miss the opportunity to grab the recipient’s attention long before the package gets opened.  Here are some simple strategies for making the most of the envelope.

And these tips work, whether you are a business to business mailer or you’re mailing to individuals at home.  The trick is to catch their interest as they stand over the waste basket, decided what to even open.

Teaser copy.  Entice them to open the envelope.  Say something that will leave them wondering.

Make it personal.  It goes without saying that with today’s technology a personalized message is not only possible, it’s also highly effective.

Don’t fake it.  We’ve all gotten those "official" looking envelopes that were not from the government, an overnight letter or a telegram.  Unless it plays into your creative execution, don’t annoy your audience by being deceiving.

Hit the flip side.  Don’t forget about the back of the envelope.  That’s one of the most visible spots on the envelope and often the most underused. 

Don’t take a chance that your mail piece will get tossed without at least having one shot at delivering your message.  Make every element, including the outer envelope, work for you.

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5 comments on “Direct mail tricks: The envelope

  1. Karin H. says:

    Hi Drew

    And don’t forget to make sure you’ve addressed your prospect/client correctly. Nothing makes an envelop end up in the waste basket as getting the name wrong!

    I received a handwritten envelop recently with our catch-phrase (natural wooden flooring) as business name instead of our proper correct name (Wood You Like). I thought: if you can’t take the effort to check that, what more don’t you check? i.e. can I trust you to deliver?
    (And the content of the envelop was a standard – one fits all – leaflet, nothing personalised and was telling me all about features, not benefits.

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  2. When I was in Europe over summer, my cousin received a piece of direct mail from Nike after participating in the marathon the year before. Hand written, it was a letter from another participant in France, urging her to join the Nike race this year.

    I thought it was pretty effective. The pen pal could connect to my cousin on a personal level – comparing times and how much they both liked running. Definitely a huge difference to the “Come Run This Year” they could’ve sent out.

  3. Piotr,

    Wow…talk about one to one marketing. You’re right, the impact would be completely different.

    Rather than an impersonal postcard or even letter, this was aimed right at the runner’s heart. People who have a passion, love to talk to others about that passion.

    I’ll bet the runner who wrote the letter felt pretty special too. Imagine being asked by Nike to help you with a project. Brilliant.


  4. Melody says:

    About your tip on not forgeting the back of the envelope… do you know of ideas or a site to find some tips on that?
    – Melody/Generous Marketing

  5. tadacip says:

    Make it personal. It goes without saying that with today’s technology a personalized message is not only possible, it’s also highly effective. – hmmmm

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