Get the Envelope Opened!
The four-color process has long been used to make packages stand out in the mail. And new technology has made this a more affordable option. Several companies now offer web lithography, also called roll-to-roll lithography. This is a faster, more efficient process for printing and converting four color process envelopes. And Dudley says there's a bonus: "Because we're converting from a web, you get a more consistent product. You remove the need to die cut blanks, which can result in inconsistencies of size to your finished envelope."
Dudley believes that four color process can be used very effectively, depending on the product you are offering. "To illustrate your product or people using your product, four-color process certainly makes the most sense." Outside magazine used this with some success, with a four-color envelope printed on a satin white background. Both an issue (showing a red canoe cutting through blue-green water) and a premium (a colorfully bright yellow "army" knife ) are shown in color.
Many mailers use bells and whistles in the mailing to involve the reader. One way to involve the reader is to place labels (stickers) on the OSE. As mentioned earlier, several of the magazines using the larger, 9˝x12˝ format also used stickers on the envelope, asking for a response.
Advances in flexographic printing have made a less expensive, yet equally effective mock label available, using fluorescent or metallic inks. "Instead of paying for a label and the application of it, you're simply adding a color," says Dudley. "If you're looking to immediately draw someone's eye to a particular area, fluorescent or metallic inks will do the job, and you'll have money left over."
A different paper stock is another way to give an envelope a lift. When going for an "invitation" look, a fine paper, such as granite or parchment, might work. The expensive looking stock leaves recipients feeling like they've received something exclusive. While "specialty papers" can be effective, they are also expensive and require special mill runs.