Compelling copy on the outer is a classic direct mail tactic. In the fifth episode of "Engaging Envelopes," a series sponsored by Tension Corporation, direct mail consultant Paul Bobnak looks at just a few possible ways that a teaser entices a prospect.

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  • Bruce Koren

    A teaser tells me one big thing, for sure. There’s a marketing piece inside. If I open it, it may cost me money. As creatives, we love our clever teaser lines and graphics. As a recipient, I’m standing over my trash can, tossing the ads and filing the bills. I don’t have time to read unsolicited mail. If I were on my computer, they would go into a JUNK file.

    The only way I can assure a client that his direct mail will be opened, is to put nothing on the outside. No even the company name. Aside from addressee info, I only want a return address.

    A blank envelope gets a recipient thinking, “What’s this? Might be a bill or something important, I better open it.”

    Put anything on that envelope and you let your recipient know its advertising. The only thing worse, IMHO, is tricking them into opening the envelope by trying to disguise it as “Important Official Business…Time Sensitive!” Then they open it and find out you tricked them. Who wants to start a business relationship like that?