The 3 Senses of Outer Envelopes
Any words on your envelope — front or back teasers, copy that shows through windows — are saying something to your potential donor. Is that a message they want to hear or that compels them to go further into the envelope? Or does it shout (gasp!), "Junk Mail Alert!" Does it alienate the recipient? Is it confusing?
The postage is also a verbal message. Whether you use an indicia, meter or a live stamp matters. Make sure the postage choice sends the same message that you are trying to convey with your entire envelope. For example, if you want to say "personal note," don't use an indicia. And frankly, a mailing that is saying "official mailing" probably shouldn't have a live stamp. If possible, test to see if you can increase response by using a different form of postage — but if you can't test, choose what logically seems to shout out the message you are hoping to communicate.
Your assignment for this week: Look at your last three to five direct-mail packages. While looking at the envelopes filled with the contents — just like the donor would when he or she first receives it — ask what they are communicating through feel, look and messaging. Are there changes you need to make in the future to better engage the three senses of direct mail envelopes?
Pamela consults with nonprofits, helping them develop their fundraising strategy and writing copy to achieve their goals. Additionally, she teaches fundraising at two universities, hoping to inspire the next generation of fundraisers to be passionate about the profession. Previously, Pamela led the fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. Pamela is a member of the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, a CFRE, a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Dominican University, and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University. Contact Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.