Elaina Mango

An outer envelope often is a blank canvas, literally. But while words carry a good deal of weight, they say pictures are worth a thousand of them, right? When presented with bright, visual images versus gray copy, most people respond better to the former, says Tom Herrmann, executive vice president of marketing and business development for Mailnet Services, a provider of marketing automation solutions and customer communications. Here are three tried-and-tested methods of using art on the outer to boost the bottom line. 1. Perhaps more than ever before, prospects may be prone to ignoring text and preferring pictures on the outer. For example,

It's short. It's sweet. And it packs a lot of punch. It's the concept behind Verizon's new direct mail winback package for a new long distance calling plan. On the back of the 6" x 9" white outer envelope (808VERIZO0803B) is an image of a nickel in the shape of the United States. Seeing such a familiar image in a new format is eye-catching, and the surrounding white space helps set the dramatic effect. The only words that interrupt the white space are "5¢ now goes a long way." The U.S.-shaped nickel encompasses the plan's primary message in one arresting image:

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