Open Me Now! 11 Tips for More Effective Direct Mail Envelopes
The direct mail envelope is both the easiest and hardest part of every direct mail package.
It's easy in that there's just not that much space to fill with copy or design. But it's hard in that there's so much riding on what you say or don't say. The envelope plays a huge role in determining whether your direct mail package gets opened or trashed.
Before I give you some envelope tips, let's get one thing straight.
You should not expect an envelope to sell your product. You should not use it to show off your design skills. Its job is not to entertain or amuse. You are not required to cover it with clever copy or concepts.
Aside from holding together the contents until delivered, an envelope has only one job: to get opened.
Here are few ways to do that.
Follow headline rules to write teaser copy. Generate interest with a provocative statement. Provoke curiosity with a question headline or incomplete statement. State a problem on the envelope and suggest the solution is inside. Teaser copy acts like a headline and leads people to read the letter.
1. Use teaser copy to select your audience. It should be clear at a glance that your message is addressed specifically to your reader. Use key words that relate to your prospect's interests or identity, such as "Exclusive offer for golfers inside" or "For serious investors only."
2. Refer to the contents of the envelope. Tell your reader there's something free, valuable, new, or exclusive inside. If you've actually enclosed something — such as a sample, booklet, checklist, discount coupon, how-to guide, or newsletter — say so.
3. Use directive language. If you want something, you have to ask for it. Prompt your reader to open the envelope with copy such as "inside," "see inside," or "open immediately." Combine this with a benefit to jump start your sales message. "FREE Recipes! Look inside ..." or "How to pay $0 in taxes! See inside for details ...."
4. Fully develop your "envelope real estate" to sell the sizzle. If you have a flashy, desirable product, you can crank up the excitement by using every square inch of your envelope, front and back. Show the product.