Everyone in the direct mail industry knows that the success of your direct mail campaign starts with the right mailing list. From a customer's standpoint, however, it begins with the envelope. No matter how targeted your list is, or how much thought, research, or time is put into your inserts, if the envelope isn't enticing enough to get opened, it's all a moot point. Here are 10 tips to make your envelope more appealing:
1. Use a good quality envelope. Stationary grade paper looks classy and leaves a better impression. It lends importance to the piece of mail and makes it more personal.
2. Use a brightly colored envelope and change the color seasonally. Record responses to each color to see what works best for your particular offering. Studies show red, blue, yellow, and orange work well.
3. Use an over-size print for the recipient's name and address. People like seeing their name in print.
4. Printing the name and address directly on the envelope yields better results than a label. But if you must use a label, examine a sample sheet of labels first to see how they look. Don't use all caps - it screams junk mail. Use normal, upper and lower case style in a serif font (Times New Roman, Antiqua, Bookman, to name a few). Serif fonts look better printed on paper than the non-serif fonts like Arial.
5. The next two tips are two completely opposite ideas - but both have proven to be successful for different companies. You'll have to test which one works better for you. The first is to use a "teaser" on your envelope - something to pique curiosity. "5 Foods You Should Never Eat," for instance, or "The One Stock You Should Buy Right Now." Of course, the teaser should be relevant to the contents of the envelope.
6. The opposite view is to put nothing on the envelope at all - not even a return address. It will get opened just to make sure it's not something important, that is unless you've ignored tips 1 and 4.
7. If you use a return address, leave off the company name or logo and just put your name or the name of someone else at your company, then the company address. It's more likely to be opened if it's perceived as coming from an individual instead of a company.
8. If you can, send your mailing first class mail and have your print shop affix a regular stamp to the envelope, as opposed to a postage meter or an indicia. Again, it will look more like personal correspondence and is more likely to be opened. If budget constraints prevent this option, and you must use bulk mail, use a meter instead of an indicia. An indicia leaves no doubt that the piece is bulk mail, but a metered piece may not be.
9. If the budget allows, put something bulky in the envelope, like a memo pad, magnet, or some other small gift. Anything to make your potential customer curious enough to open the envelope and read your message is worth trying.
10. For mailings during Winter months, think about using a thicker, more durable envelope that can withstand wet weather. The better condition it reaches it's reader in, the more likely it is to get opened.
Some of these tips may work for your campaign, and others may not. You have to take into account your niche market and what you know has and hasn't worked for you in the past. But maybe by implementing a new idea or two into your existing strategy, you could have a better response to your next mailing. Trying and testing is a sure way to find out.