2 Big, Revitalized Opportunities on the Outer Envelope
In addition, according to Mark Everett Johnson, a copywriter based in Carlisle, Pa., copy on the back of the envelope is a dead giveaway that it's not personal mail. "I would not put anything on the back of the envelope without testing it," he reminds.
A recent example of this approach comes from a 6″x 11-1/2″effort for The History Channel Magazine, which kept the outer envelope's front spare to emphasize a personalized membership card peeking through a small window in the lower right and the History Channel logo in the corner card; the envelope's back trumpeted a scratch-off game inside that would tell the prospect which of the four premiums shown he was eligible to receive.
Another mailer taking this creative tact is the nonprofit World Vision, which splashes the front of its 6″x 9″outer with the copy "URGENT UPDATE," followed by a secondary message that the prospect's donation will be multiplied by 15 to provide even more relief to Sudanese refugees. Copy on the back of the envelope reinforces the message of urgency and also provides a URL to bypass the mailing contents and give online immediately—a gamble that could work in World Vision's favor or against it, thus the need for testing.
2. The Big Window: A "Sneak Peek" That Gets Envelopes Opened?
Two and even three windows are common on envelopes, but coming back into vogue is the oversize window that stretches across the entire front, or back, of an outer envelope. In fact, in the Who's Mailing What! Archive mailstream, it's been used recently by a wide range of mailers, including GEICO, KAEHALL Estate Planning Coordinates, Southwest Airlines and The Wilderness Society.
GEICO and KAEHALL showcase teasers as well as the prospect's name and address. The Wilderness Society shows another envelope inside the OE, which stresses the "contents: Petitions to Congress and the U.S. Forest Service prepared for Ms. Prospect's signature." And Southwest Airlines uses the big window on the back of the envelope to display a blue sky, jet, and "new arrival" road sign with the prospect's first name personalized and formed by clouds. Other efforts also have shown the first line in the letter, or even the Johnson box.