Beat the Clock
• Test postage, especially live postage stamps. Many mailers don't realize there are design choices for even discounted presort and non-profit stamps.
• If your mailing is designed to look extremely personal and confidential, use more than one stamp so it appears that someone cleaned out a desk drawer to mail the letter.
• When you're mailing postcards or self-mailers, make the most of the format by carefully selecting size, color and paper stock to meet your objectives of getting past the screener and read by the right individual.
• Add intrigue and involvement. Include a coin (foreign or U.S.) glue-tipped to the top of your letter so the coin can be felt through the envelope. Or, include an audio cassette, product sample or some other intriguing element that entices people to open the envelope. This past election year I saw a political mailing in a clear plastic envelope with a dollar bill visibly paper clipped to the letter. The envelope was sealed with a formidable, official-looking, bright orange seal with WARNING copy regarding tampering with delivery. How many of these envelopes do you think didn't get opened?
• Other ideas include using a brown paper bag as the outer envelope, sending a postcard with a bite taken out of it, or using a die-cut of the product to gain immediate attention and create reader involvement.
As you can probably tell, some of these ideas may increase the cost of your mail piece. When the idea is strategically sound, however, the added cost becomes a good investment that more than pays for itself with increased response and back-end sales.