It’s a well known fact in business to business circles; direct mail campaigns aren’t pulling in the results they used to. Now more than ever, direct marketers have to figure out more inventive ways to get their envelopes opened.
When a prospect picks up your envelope, together with his other post, he spends less than three seconds assessing whether or not to open it. Naturally, this problem means that direct marketers are tempted to “spill the beans” on the envelope; pushing their features and benefits, even the offer. This is a big mistake.
The envelope has one role and one role only; to carry the items it contains within it to the person to whom the envelope is addressed. That’s it. The resulting fact has forced copywriters to dream up inventive ways to tease, and entice prospects to open the envelope, and read the sales copy within.
Facing that same dilemma, one company decided to conduct a number of B to B and B to C envelope tests, to discover which pulled in the better result. Envelopes with teaser copy and offers on the outside or envelopes with nothing but the return addressed on the back.
What they discovered:
They discovered that when the reader couldn’t determine what the offer inside was, they felt they were missing out on something great, and were more inclined to open the envelope. They felt these feelings more acutely, if the envelope was sent by a brand they knew very well or had a good long standing reputation with. The reader also wanted to know the offer first before deciding whether or not to reject it.
There are some fantastic lessons to be learned here, namely…
Simple is Best
No copy on the envelope. You may not be a big brand name but it’s never a good idea to spell out your offer to a list who doesn’t know you – yet. It’s like asking a girl to marry you on your first date. You’d never do that. Timing is everything in relationships. It’s no different in direct mail. When building that all important long term relationship – easy does it, is key.
Make it Personal:
You know how you feel when you receive a letter that is addressed, “To the Owner” or “To Whom it May Concern”. If you send similar envelopes to your prospects, you can guess how they’ll feel. Go the extra mile to find out your prospect’s name, title, and make sure both are spelled correctly.
Address their Names by Hand
If you take the time to hand write their names, then some of your list will take the time to open your envelope, and read what’s inside. Nothing makes a bigger or better impression then handwritten notes, and envelopes. It’s these personal touches that add style, and class to any envelope, and indeed to any company. By deciding to write their names by hand, you put your company at a higher level then the rest, and guarantee long term faithful clients.
Put your Logo on the Envelope:
If you’re marketing to a list that knows you very well, and is, as far as you know, very happy with your service. Then put your logo on the front top left hand corner of your envelope or discreetly on the back flap.
Then, they’re more likely to open your envelope because, like the company in the example, they could be missing out on something great, and want to read about it before making the decision to disregard it.
Test, Test, Test
Before embarking on any campaign, it’s important to test your envelope, and everything on your envelope until you’re sure you have the right combination that will go a long way to enticing your prospect to open it.