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Just as at the Academy Awards, direct mail envelopes need to create anticipation of what’s inside.

Research shows that with direct mail, you have just three to five seconds to generate enough interest or curiosity to get the recipient to open an envelope. Your enemy is the waste basket. If targeted recipients look at the envelope and decide that it is not relevant to them or just not interesting enough, that package is a goner. The postage and cost of the package is lost, as is the opportunity.

So, how can you create that anticipation?

The real beauty of a letter package is that it allows you to tell a complete story, from the outer envelope to the inside letter and accompanying literature. It’s like having your salesperson deliver every package.

Let’s focus on the outside of the envelope. What keeps the reader up at night? What are his hopes, dreams, and aspirations or what problems is he sure to face in the coming months? The answer to these questions if presented properly and respectfully on the outside of the envelope will entice the reader to open the envelope and come face to face with the answers inside. In addition, you should know, research shows that more than 75% of direct mail recipients look at both front and back of each envelope so don’t neglect the space on the back – use it effectively to get your point across!

Here is some important research from the DMA and I am presenting it in the form it comes to me. Please notice the highlighted components and their effectiveness ratings a percentage out of 5:

Components of the Outer Envelope Effectiveness

Overall Effectiveness Rating
Question: Using a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being “not effective at all” and 5 being “extremely effective”) please rate the effectiveness of each element in increasing response rates.

Component of Outer Envelope Overall Rating
Window 3.31
Closed-Face 3.21
Plain Outer Envelope 3.14
Teaser Copy 3.89
Involvement Device 3.22
Photography/Illustrations 3.48
Die-Cuts 3.06
Color 3.58
Other 2.64

Using teaser copy, photos or illustrations, and color on outer envelopes makes them much more effective at increasing the response rate. This is where the InteliMailer™ shows it strength.

The outer envelope of the InteliMailer™ is specifically designed to accommodate all of the most effective components as shown on the chart above to increase the response rate. Put the InteliMailer™ to work for you today. Call me with any questions or to get started!


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