2 Big, Revitalized Opportunities on the Outer Envelope
Copy on the front of the envelope remains the tried-and-true method for most mailers to reach prospects. It's where you find teasers, offers, deadlines, personalized data, etc.—and these approaches run the gamut, from oversize formats with scarcely any copy/images to smaller efforts that are covered with copy and have full-bleed images.
But there are two tactics with regard to the outer envelope that marketers increasingly are exploring: the big window that showcases something inside the envelope and the back of the envelope. Here's a look into those two areas and how they work as opportunities to reach prospects.
1. The Back of the Envelope: The New Frontier for Mailers?
"As outer envelope real estate becomes more valuable (because everything about direct mail is becoming costlier), the OE back gains more importance," declares Ruth K. Sheldon, a New York City-based copywriter.
Pat Friesen, a Mission, Kan.-based copywriter, agrees. She says that you only have about two to three seconds to capture the prospect's attention these days, so "the back of the envelope is every bit as important as the front."
Of course, before you plunge ahead and just plunk down copy, graphics or interactive devices on this unexplored territory, experienced copywriters ask that you think about what's appropriate for the audience and offer ... and then test it.
"If I'm already putting teaser copy on the front of the envelope, I'm much more inclined also to put something on the back ... because you never know which side of the envelope will be face up when the recipient pulls it out of the mail," explains Friesen.
But proceed cautiously, says Herschell Gordon Lewis, a copywriter based in Pompano Beach, Fla. "If the wording hammers timeliness, copy on the back of the envelope is valuable. If the wording is a continuation or variation of selling copy, it's a game of Russian roulette in which the very existence of a secondary pitch can damage response," he stresses.