Get the Envelope Opened!
The envelope is the first place to start when considering testing. Why? Every recipient sees it—and it affects whether recipients ever get to the rest of the mailing. It is also a relatively easy test. Additionally, there are many different types of envelope tests to try. Here are a few to consider.
"The outer envelope is the headline of direct mail."—Ed Nash
One technique used to geet a prospect to open the envelope is to entice them to want to know more. Teasers do just that. This technique has been successfully used by publishers to whet the reader's appetite to not only open the envelope, but to subscribe as well.
One example of a publisher using teasers successfully is Harper's. The editorial teasers on its envelopes hint at what readers can find in the magazine and directs them inside the package, looking for answers.
Inside: The government's secret plan to nationalize your bank. Christian singles dating questionnaire. The world according to Oliver North. How Wall Street stands to profit from AIDS....
Another example is the use of "fascinations" from the late Mel Martin, copywriter for Boardroom Inc. These mailings touch a hot spot with many prospects; the same mailings have gone out for years, with eye catching headlines such as:
What Credit Card Companies Don't Tell You and What Never to Eat on an Airplane.
To find the answers, you have to subscribe to the publications. On the other hand, the Nutrition Action Healthletter delivers on its powerful headline—Ten Foods You Should Never Eat ; inside the control mailing was a list of the foods to avoid.
The Color Question
"A white envelope is hard to beat. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to beat it, because if your envelope doesn't get opened, your package doesn't get read..."—Malcolm Decker