Direct-Mail Primer: How to Get Your Envelope Opened
Direct-mail designers follow trends with the color they use
They test one color against another with the same mailing, just to see if a purple carrier gets better response than a brown kraft. Fifty percent of the list gets a brown kraft and 50 percents get a purple carrier.
But you can use a test of your own. Watch your mailbox for the next 30 days for colored envelopes. If you see a certain color being mailed to you on a rather consistent basis, it probably means it’s working for the pros in direct-mail houses. It might be worth you trying yourself.
Postage is another way to give impact to the carrier
First Class is always preferable and will always get better returns. I’ve done mailings that have three commemorative stamps on the carrier and then four more on the reply envelope. It conveys a personal touch — like one letter being written to one friend, not 10,000 — and it always gets better response.
What if you just can’t afford First Class? Easy … make it look First Class. I’m currently mail-shopping an eight-page letter with a carrier envelope that has two First Class stamps on it, adding up to 5 cents. It’s then sent through ink-jets and given a cancellation mark over the stamps. The package would have cost $1.22 going First Class, but we spent less than 20 cents sending it bulk. It’s getting a bulk price and a First Class look at the same time.
Another recent trend is to use a faux stamp with a bulk stamp. You can have a stamp made to order and have your association’s emblem on it, a logo, even your photograph. Of course it carries no monetary worth to the post office, but it gives your carrier envelope that First Class, highly personal look that makes it stand out in the big pile of mail on the countertop.