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The Envelope

Although the appearance of your envelope can help get it opened, beware of being “over-enthusiastic” with glitzy designs or teaser messages.  If your message or offer doesn’t live up to what the envelope promises, the reader might feel disappointed and frustrated.  That’ll count against a response.

For business communications, it’s better to be conservative.  Plain envelopes often work best, as they create intrigue.  In some instances it’s best to leave off your company logo on direct mail envelopes – especially when mailing to prospects.  It makes it too easy for someone who’s not a product user to regard it as irrelevant to them, resulting in your mailshot being discarded — unopened.

If you want to convey something on the outside, use the message to indicate that the recipient is the person you want to speak to: “For the woman with style …”.  High volume communications can warrant such a specially printed envelope.

Guidelines for envelopes and teaser techniques are:

  • If you use an illustration, make sure it’s related to the offer.  They help get across the message of what’s inside, such as a picture of children conveying the fact that the message is intended for parents;
  • Windows can be used to tease by showing a small portion of what’s inside;
  • Use a heavy texture paper — it shows you care about elegance;
  • Tailor the teaser copy: “For Toptown residents only”; “For architects only”;
  • Use simple action phrases: “Last Chance”;
  • Use questions.  “Are you the kind of person who appreciates quality?”
  • Win attention with seasonal appeals;
  • Use suspense: Start writing a story and end it halfway;
  • If you’re going to send a second mailing, change the envelope.
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