Get the Envelope Opened!
One way to tweak an old control is to try a different color envelope. A new color may give the mailing new life, as a quick glance will convince a recipient that he has not yet seen this package. Take Emily Soell's launch package for the Conde Nast Traveler; it mailed for a long time with much success, but then began to look too familiar. So every time response would flag, the color of the outer envelope was changed, which would boost up response. Bright colors—red, blue, green, white, black and yellow—were used, as well as a poly envelope. So instead of dumping your entire package the minute the control dips in response, you might want to try changing the color of the envelope.
With advances in printing technology, just about any color can be used. Printing your background color on white wove stock can save you both time and money: You're not paying a premium for colored stock and there's no waiting for special mill runs. Additionally, a myriad of colors becomes available with this flexographic process. Mailers can pick just about any color from a Pantone color book, or choose to screen back a color, says Brian Dudley, national account manager at Westvaco Corporation's envelope division.
Open-Faced or Closed?
Window and closed-faced envelopes each set a different mood for your mailing. Copywriter Gary Halbert believes one should strive to make a mailing look like personal correspondence and avoid the use of a window, while copywriter Bill Jayme suggests making the package look like advertising mail, including the use of a window.
Who's right? Both. It depends on what you're selling and who you're trying to reach. For example, when using the approach of an "invitation" to sell your product or service, the envelope should be closed face. Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street Club used this approach, with the envelope copy reading "Mr. [Your Name] only, please" to give the air of a secretive, one-to-one, personal correspondence. The Kiplinger Washington Letter also uses this approach, using a greeting card-sized envelope for added effect. Marketers hawking seminars, life insurance and financial offers have also mailed this format with success.