I have two schools of thought about envelopes.
If you’re mailing to a cold list, such as a purchased list, more times than not I’d suggest a plain white envelope, plain courier font, a real stamp, and no company name on the outside. This is called the sneak up approach.
The idea here is that you want to get your letter opened so the prospect can read it (see my posting about headlines). By not putting any information on the outside of the envelope that will identify it as VMM (valuable marketing mail), the prospect is more apt to open it.
If I’m mailing to a warmed up list, meaning a list that I’ve mailed to before, I’ll often try to use teaser copy on the outside of the envelope. Teaser copy can be as simple as another headline that will grab the prospects attention; it can also be a photograph or other graphics. The sole purpose of teaser copy is to get your letter opened. Here’s an example of some teaser copy we used recently, and the response to this mailing was awesome:
Steve, I recently took one of my best clients out to lunch. I had no idea our pleasant conversation would make this grown man almost burst into tears!
If you’re going to use teaser copy, devote as much time and effort to the teaser copy on the envelope as you did the headline of your letter.
We have also had a lot of success with colored envelopes. Bright yellow, pink, blue, and neon green have all pulled well for us. I’ve been lucky to find large quantities of close out colored envelopes on E-Bay.
Odd size envelopes will increase response. They stand out from the other mail.
Two final thoughts:
1. As a rule, teaser copy works better to consumers than it does to business prospects. Secretaries and office assistants are sometimes asked to toss all mail that looks like advertising mail. However, when a teaser is &quot;right on&quot; it can be incredibly effective at getting your mail opened. It is worthwhile to test teaser copy on business mailings, as it can outpull a plain envelope if its powerful and compelling.
2. NEVER USE LABELS ON YOUR MARKETING MAIL.
Seriously, never. It screams junk mail.]]>