Open Me Now! 11 Tips for More Effective Direct Mail Envelopes
5. Bullet point benefits. Starburst your special price. Hint at a special gift for immediate orders. This works best for consumer offers that are proven sellers needing little explanation, such as books, software upgrades, fact-packed newsletters, etc.
6. Use illustrations or photos. If you're spilling your guts on the envelope, you might as well go all the way and show your product, premium, gift, or whatever. Simple pictures communicate instantly. A photo of a book with the word "FREE" next to it is better than lines and lines of clever copy.
7. Consider involvement devices. Stickers, tokens, stamps, coins, scratch-offs, lift-up tabs, attached notes, seals and other widgets can be used to good effect if you have the budget, if they can boost response enough to justify the added cost, and if they fit with the feel of your message.
8. Put your deadline on the outside. Inertia is your enemy. Action is your friend. Deadlines induce action. Therefore, if you're sure about your mailing date, a deadline can prevent your prospect from setting aside your envelope for later. If you're using a window envelope and personalized letter, you can print the date on the letter to cut envelope costs for future mailings. I prefer real deadlines over arbitrary ones. It's more honest and will preserve your believability if you're mailing often to the same lists.
9. If you're mailing to a business, use a low-key approach. Most business-to-business mail is intercepted by a secretary, assistant, or mail room. If it looks too much like advertising, it may get trashed. You stand a better chance of reaching your prospect if your envelope looks personal, important, and businesslike. Less is also more for offers that may meet some resistance at first glance and need more selling, which is best done in a letter.
10. If you use a blank envelope, make it completely blank. Not a single word of teaser copy. No graphics. Perhaps not even your logo. Just a street address in the upper left corner and your delivery address. You might include the letter signer's name in the corner card, particularly if that person is well-known. This makes your mailing look personal and is almost certain to get opened.