Newsletter publishers love to tease … when it comes to their outer envelopes, that is. While these mailers use a variety of different tactics to drive subscriptions, one thing they all have in common is a penchant for outer envelope communications and a general aversion to staid, blind outers.
Don Dion’s Monthly ETF Report, for example, recently mailed two #10 envelope efforts that use the same teaser, with slightly different treatments. One sent in July features the copy, “Brand New! Don Dion’s Monthly ETF Report. Special Offer Enclosed,” on a yellow repositionable note (Archive code #270-707478-0607). That same teaser is printed directly on the envelope of a similar August mailing (Archive code #270-707478-0608). This seems to be a straight-up outer envelope test as the letter and offer are the same for both packages.
Two efforts from Natural Resource Hunter, on the other hand, feature copious copy, but with different messages. One, received in July, focuses on gold with a large red teaser: “‘Gold will triumph! It always has. It always will.’” (Archive code #270-706880-0607). Below that are six typed bullet points preceded by handwritten arrows and asterisks that outline some of the nuggets readers can expect to find, such as “How to buy gold privately” and “2 best countries for opening safety deposit boxes.” The outer also features a photo of Dan Rosenthal, “founder and retired editor of The Silver & Gold Report.” The other, received in August, focuses on oil with the teaser: “Enough oil in Straights of Florida to replace all of America’s oil imports from Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia for 28 years! US oil companies fuming mad because they’re forbidden to drill for it” (Archive code #270-706880-0608). It also features a map of the Straights of Florida, a lengthy caption about why the United States cannot drill there and a teaser about a Canadian company that can. Inside, each mailing focuses on its respective topic, and the offers are the same save for one price level. Each offers billing at $8 a month and a one-year subscription for $99. But while the two-year rate in the “gold” package is $144, the two-year rate in the “oil” package is $182.
Newsletter publishers also use a variety of copy drivers in their teasers. One is the promise of wealth. Forecasts and Strategies, for example, promises “This ‘China Secret’ Is About to Create Hundreds of New American Millionaires. Here’s How to Become One of Them …” (Archive code #270-173590-0608) and Options Hotline informs prospects, “You’re invited to join a small group of subscribers who could have made ONE MILLION DOLLARS on just 1 recommendation a week” (Archive code #270-652213-0607).
Another popular strategy is to reference current events, as 21st Century Investor does in a July mailing that offers, “A Lifetime of VERY CHEAP Gas… plus a FREE TANK OF GAS TODAY at any local gas station, see inside…” (Archive code #270-707737-0607) and as Dan Pilla’s Confidential Tax Bulletin does: “Confidential Insider Briefing on New Surveillance Collection & Tax Enforcement Tactics from America’s Foremost Expert on the IRS …” (Archive code #270-704771-0608).
Graphics also are popular among some newsletter mailers, such as Value Line, which uses bar charts to illustrate how its stocks beat the Dow and S&P over one, five and 10 years (Archive code #270-171688-0607), and Porter Stansberry Investment, which uses line graphs to demonstrate how the Federal Reserve manipulated stock prices in 1934, 1951 and 1970 (Archive code #270-707438-0607).
One to Watch: Outer envelope teasers have been particularly successful for Harvard Men’s Health, which has a long-term control covered with them (Archive code #250-416569-0607). The outer of this 9˝ x 12˝ effort is white, with black and red writing. The address side of the envelope features the teaser, “Why do some men…” printed in large, black letters. Below that is a red bar with reversed-out type promising readers, “Candid answers FOR MEN ONLY from the physicians at Harvard Medical School. FREE ISSUE - FREE GIFT - OPEN NOW!” And copy in parentheses above the address window invites prospects to “Open and be surprised!”
On the back of the envelope, a large promise is featured at the top: “MEN: NEVER BE CONFUSED ABOUT YOUR HEALTH AGAIN!” Below that are five questions that men might just be confused about, in bullet point format, including “Can Viagra hurt your eyes?” and “Do stronger men live longer?” And at the very bottom is a final push inside the envelope: “INSIDE: What the doctors at Harvard now know to help YOU live healthier, happier and longer!”
In the mail since at least July 2002, this package recently was distinguished by the Archive as an Axel Andersson Grand Control, a status conferred on packages that have been in the mail for more than three years.