The Ins Of Outers
Haskel concurs. She advises Instant Web clients to make their pieces slightly over-sized or slightly under-sized, while still meeting U. S. Postal Service (USPS) automation standards.
"We're seeing an increasing number of mailers testing the size of their mailings, balancing it with other tests within the package," says Haskel.
By going with a slightly smaller outer envelope, she affirms, mailers can afford to increase the basis weight of the buckslip, brochure or letter, or add color to those items—ultimately making them more visually appealing.
"Don't necessarily stick with the tried-and-true, standard #10 and 6˝ x 9˝ [outer envelope] format sizes," stresses Schoenleber. "If the specifications are for a 6˝ x 9˝, talk to your supplier. By scaling it down a fraction of an inch, you could get a greater yield, and therefore save thousands of dollars."
Obviously, the smaller the piece, the lower the cost. But is it the right size to carry your message?
"At times, yes, a smaller piece can be just as effective," figures Schoenleber. "Still staying within aspect ratio, but doing odd sizes or slightly larger or smaller [outer envelope] sizes, makes it stand out from the everyday piece."
Let a Little Light In
Once size is determined, Friesen suggests mailers test a double poly window envelope with colored glassine in the teaser copy window that matches the color of an inserted piece inside. Mailers can print the teaser copy on that insert, and with an additional teaser on the outer envelope, recipients will be forced to open the package to read it.
As a minor variation to that, Haskel advises marketers to incorporate some sort of contour into the window shape that matches the pieces inside, since mailers are already paying for a die-cut for the poly window. This way the mailing has an integrated feel.