Three Reasons Why Less is More on the Outer
The outer envelope. Unexplored territory? A blank canvas? Not so fast. These days, “less copy on the outer often yields a better response,” states Todd Lerner, copywriter/designer and owner of Todd Lerner Advertising in Farmington Hills, Mich.
1. Less Makes It More … Personal
“If you’re trying to make it look more personal, you probably don’t put charts and graphs on the back [of the outer] because then it’s an immediate tip-off that you’re selling something,” says Pat Friesen, copywriter and owner of Pat Friesen & Company in Kansas City, Kan.
Because she’s presently working with an older, educated audience that “doesn’t like hype,” Friesen asserts that the mailing must sound genuine for prospects to open the envelope. She refers to studies that demonstrate that this audience does read its mail, because “they have the time and come from a generation that views the mail as where they get their information from.” Consequently, she focuses all the copy on the inside of the mail piece.
2. Less Makes It More … About the Name
If you’re using a celebrity’s or politician’s name on a mail piece, don’t ruin the effect with teasers and graphics. “You’re seeing a ton of [well-known names] in the corner card with the election coming up because that’s how you get your piece opened,” relates Friesen, who says the goal is to entice them inside the package with this name alone.
3. Less Makes It More … Official and Upscale
Lerner predicts that outers in the future will become increasingly minimal. “It stands out from the pack of frantic-shrieking, hyper-colored pitches filling up today’s mailbox,” he explains. Plus, he says it can look like an official communication from a company with whom the prospect already has a relationship. “If designed well, it can look very good—clean and upscale,” concludes Lerner.