Home » Blog » How To Leverage Printed Envelopes For Direct Mail Campaigns

Every detail of your direct mail piece counts. The impression you make starts the moment your prospect receives their mail. It’s crucial to resonate powerfully with an envelope that captivates your audience. motivates them to see what’s inside.

Did you know that over 42% of Americans look forward to checking their mailbox daily according to Gallup. Your message can stand out with a customized direct mail envelope that compels your audience to discover what is within the envelope.  Don’t overlook the potential of the envelope, as it is often the most underestimated component of your marketing campaign.

Benefits of Direct Mail

In an ever-evolving marketing world, three things remain constant regarding direct mail. Direct mail effectively reaches into the households of audiences, delivers exceptional ROI and response rates, and plays a major role in customer retention and long-term value for all types of businesses.  According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), direct mail drives customers to spend 28% more than those who did not receive mail from a business.

Here are four reasons why consumers enjoy receiving direct mail:

  1. Americans feel more comfortable receiving direct mail in their homes compared to TV advertising, email, and social media. Its popularity reaches across demographics and is not just preferred by baby boomers. According to the USPS, direct mail is read more often than email among all age groups, and 71% of all consumers are excited to discover what the mail brings every day.
  2. Households can hold onto direct mail promotions and keep them where they can be used for future reference. According to the Rochester Institute of Technology, 48% of customers retain direct mail ads on a long-term basis until they’re ready to apply them.
  3. Direct mail feels more personal and lets customers know that they’re valued and appreciated. A recent study revealed that 82% of people are willing to share personal data in exchange for a better customer experience.
  4. People enjoy the look and feel of direct mail and look forward to retrieving and looking through it as part of a daily routine.  A study by Epsilon showed that 77% of people sort through their physical mail as soon as they get it. 

These benefits show that direct mail remains a cornerstone of effective marketing strategies. Direct mail offers a unique element to campaigns: each element plays a crucial role in the success – starting with the envelope. With the variety of tactics and tools available, it's easy to overlook the envelope. The envelope serves as the gateway to your message, the first impression your audience receives. Its design, touch and feel, messaging, and overall appeal can significantly impact the recipient's decision to engage with your content. By paying careful attention to the design and messaging of your envelope, you can elevate your entire campaign, enticing recipients to open, explore, and ultimately respond to your message.

Why Use Direct Mail Envelopes?

  • You need more space than provided on a single postcard to share your messaging and promotions.
  • You’re exploring opportunities to build upon existing relationships and add intrigue to communications with prospects.
  • You’re appealing to existing customers that appreciate personalization and special attention.
  • You want to attract and hold the awareness of younger prospects with marketing that captures their attention with tangible, non-digital, and engaging printed direct mail.
  • You’re including buckslips, response or donation cards, coupons, a brochure, invitation, promotional product or gift, or a reply envelope with your mailing.

Types of Direct Mail Envelopes

  • Standard envelopes are the most common type, available in various sizes and suitable for general correspondence.
  • Custom windows and specialty die-cutting envelopes feature unique window designs or intricate die-cut shapes, ideal for showcasing branding elements or adding visual interest to mailings.
  • Catalog and booklet envelopes are larger and sturdier, perfect for mailing bulky items such as catalogs, booklets, or reports.
  • Remittance envelopes, often used for fundraising or payment collection, include a built-in response form or envelope flap for easy return.
  • Security tints add an extra layer of confidentiality by concealing the contents of the envelope.
  • Bangtail envelopes feature a perforated tab that can be torn off for easy opening, while Glassine envelopes, made from translucent paper, offer a delicate and elegant presentation, commonly used for invitations or special announcements.

7 Tips for Leveraging Printed Envelopes into Your Direct Mail Campaigns

  1. Choose the appropriate envelope for the task at hand.
    The size of your direct mail envelope should hold your marketing collateral comfortably, so contents don’t get crumbled, creased or damaged during mailing. Keep budget consideration in mind because while larger envelopes might stand out, they cost more to mail. If you’re taking advantage of USPS direct mail promotions, make sure the envelope size meets their size and weight requirements.
  1. Select finishes that entice recipients.
    Create the response you’re after by using finishes that encourage your prospect to find out more. Soft touch envelopes offer a unique tactile experience that elevates your mailings. With a velvety, smooth texture, these envelopes stand out from standard paper options, leaving a lasting impression on recipients. Beyond their luxurious feel, soft touch envelopes also provide practical benefits. Their durable construction ensures that your mailings withstand the rigors of the postal system, protecting your materials during transit. Additionally, the soft touch finish creates a subtle matte appearance, perfect for enhancing the visual appeal of your branding and messaging.
  1. Create visuals that grab attention and create urgency.
    Your direct mail envelope is the first impression you make on your customer, so add some excitement and intrigue into design elements of your envelope with trailing edge. Trailing edge envelopes offer a practical and efficient solution for mailings, providing several advantages that make them a preferred choice for businesses. One key advantage is their easy accessibility, as the opening flap extends along the entire trailing edge of the envelope, allowing for quick and hassle-free access to the contents inside. Use trailing edge envelope design to create a sense of urgency with brief and compelling call-outs that tease, tantalize and pique curiosity, making the urge to open the envelope irresistible. Make promises of limited time offers, exclusive discounts, and unique opportunities that make your envelope impossible to ignore. Additionally, trailing edge envelopes offer ample space for branding and customization, with the extended flap providing a large area for printing logos, messaging, or other design elements. 
  1. Get personal with variable data printing.
    Don’t wait until your prospect starts reading what’s inside your envelope to begin forging a personal relationship and making your recipients feel more valued. You can add elegant touches to your envelope with variable data printing like a handwritten note or address to encourage your prospect to open your mailer. Placing a customized QR code in your envelope design creates new opportunities to connect with customers across your other marketing channels.
  1. Select direct mail envelopes that are user-friendly.
    Make it easy and effortless for your prospects to open your envelope. Use perforated tear strips or pull tabs that can be located quickly and that tear cleanly. The method of sealing is also important, and options include traditional adhesive and peel-and-seal closures. Avoid frustrating your prospect and protect the envelope’s content with envelopes. If you are sending direct mail that must adhere to HIPAA and other data-protection regulations, it’s also vital that your envelopes do not reveal any personal information beyond name and address of recipient. 
  1. Choose durable, environmentally friendly materials.
    Consider how many times your piece of direct mail will be handled before it reaches the intended household. While most standard envelopes may be suitable for your purposes, you want to make sure the envelope material you select is up to protecting important communications and cannot easily be torn or damaged. Use recycled or biodegradable paper to put your environmentally sustainable practices on display and tell your customers that you value eco-friendly processes by printing sustainability symbols on your envelope.
  1. Partner with an experienced direct mail print company.
    The look and feel of your direct mail envelope, as well as the appearance of your enclosed materials, impact the success of your direct mail campaign. Find an experienced direct mail partner who shares your commitment to quality and can create custom solutions to optimize the performance of your campaign. Trust a print partner who will provide a seamless experience from design to kitting and fulfillment to finding affordable solutions to control costs and boost engagement with your prospects.

Don’t underestimate the ability of eye-catching direct mail envelopes to build excitement and anticipation with your prospects and increase the open rates of your direct mail. The envelope you select and create will set the tone for your entire direct mail campaign and the impression you make could be the start of a long relationship. Marketing.com can help you connect the dots at every stage of your direct mail campaigns, beginning with the very important direct mail envelope.