A 6" x 9" envelope package mailed in July by Details magazine delivers a lesson in how to use design to arouse curiosity and engage your recipient. It's not the day-glo orange hue of the the outer envelope that is the most involving aspect of this effort. Rather, it's a 1" x 5" window in the top, left corner of the outer envelope's back panel that allows what looks like part of the letter's headline or eyebrow to show (204DETAIL0704). The problem is that the copy appears to be askew, which rouses one's natural instinct to fix it and thus forces you inside to put your hands on the letter. In actuality, the visible text is one of three complimentary quotes about Details from major newspapers; the quotes serve as the letter's headline, and are printed on an angle to add more visual interest to this package component's composition. An additional design detail is a row of four yellow stars printed "behind" the quote that shows through the envelope; the stars further anchor your focus on the angled copy.
Considering this mailer's name, maybe it shouldn't be a surprise that it pays attention to direct mail details that can get its envelope opened.
Greetings From New England
On the greeting card front, People magazine has given its control a creative tweak: Replacing the light blue, ribbed paper stock for the outer envelope is a white sheet that has been printed yellow with purple flecks; a live address label and Presorted Standard stamp give it the look and feel of personal mail (202PEOPLE0704A). Inside, the card, order form and BRE remain
essentially the same. People has been mailing its greeting card control since 2002.
Aside from the possibility that response to People's control might be slipping (or already has slipped), another reason for the change could be that it wants to stand out from the Yankee magazine greeting card effort in circulation right now (202YANKEE0704). Mailed in a similar blue, ribbed paper envelope, the Yankee package also includes just a greeting card, BRE and order form. The difference is in the card creative: People uses an illustration of a busy woman, while Yankee serves up a mock magazine cover. According to Judy Marchessault at Yankee Publishing, this package has been mailing since January 2003, rolling out in larger quantities over time; the last drop, in July, was for 205,000 pieces. Gross response has been around 4.6 percent, with pay-up projected at around 50 percent. By contrast, says Marchessault, the average pay-up rate for other Yankee soft offer efforts has been between 65 percent and 70 percent. At this stage, it's too early to tell if Yankee's greeting card is a qualified success, but results are promising.