Envelope Manufacuters Association’s Tonya Muse on Envelopes
TG: The study breaks out results by cohorts, including gender and race. Can you speak to some of the differences you saw?
TM: What we found that was very interesting is how women respond to envelope personalization. This keys into research done by the U.S. Postal Service in its Mail Moment study. USPS designated the “household mail CEO” and in most instances, that is a woman. Not surprisingly, when it comes to envelope personalization and the criteria we talked about before—the sender’s name, whether or not it’s hand-addressed, if there’s a real postage stamp—women in particular respond to these kinds of personalization. If women are primarily the mail CEOs in their household, then it would behoove mailers to really pay attention to how to personalize envelopes.
Another interesting thing we saw is that direct mail is an important call to action for people of color. Also, when you look at whether or not something is marked special delivery, that resonates more with African-Americans than Hispanics and Caucasians. Caucasians are more likely to respond to hand-addressing and real postage stamps, while African-Americans and Hispanics respond more to the way a piece is designed, including color, size and shape. Hispanics are more likely to open an envelope that offers protection for its contents, such as padding.
We see some stronger pulls on certain elements among certain groups, but we feel pretty strongly that all consumers respond to personalization.
TG: Where do you plan to take your research next?
TM: What this study confirmed is what we already suspected. It just gave us a quantitative way to confirm it. But we have learned new things from some of the ad agencies and mailers [about] what’s important to them as mailers. They are interested in innovation in the industry. And we hope to build on that and share that information with envelope manufacturers as they develop new products.