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The Talking Envelope-What Does Yours Say?

Nov 29, 2007
Tips for Printing #23- Stay out of the spam bucket

The mail carrier brings you a stack. Being a busy business person, you immediately begin sorting. Sometimes you even sort over the trash can. Naturally, the most important mail is perhaps a check. Whoopee!

In any event, you are looking for familiar correspondence, payments, invoices and items from accepted sources while dumping items that do not appear interesting.

You are an spam filter operating an analog trash can. Of course you may be too busy to open your own mail, then your administrative assistant probably gets the chore of deciding what's worthy of your attention.

In the pile you spy an envelope that looks legit and therefore want to open it even if it does have a standard rate (bulk) postage indicia. Checking the type of postage indicia is usually a good spam filtering rule. Someone who has spent the money for first class postage is automatically in at least the "look at it later" pile.

The last filtering rule you probably use is appearance of the envelope. Well, chances are the reason it looks interesting is because of the imprinted design features.

Is Your Envelope an Effective Marketing Tool? Put the shoe on the other foot for a moment. Say that you are the one mailing to a prospective customer. You want your envelope opened, don't you? Maybe it is time to conduct an audit of your envelope.

You worked hard to get just the right look for your business card, did you do the same for your analog correspondence container (envelope)? If humans were digital appearance and emotions would not be a factor.

A plain white #10 business envelope with black type may be an efficient means of delivering your message, but it is probably not an effective marketing tool.

Bridging the gap between efficiency and effectiveness is pretty easy when you add a couple of elements.The main elements are color and graphic.

You don't have to spend a lot on the envelope stock. Ordinary white envelopes work great when color and graphics are applied. The point is that the attention to detail is relevant. Graphics and colors set moods and themes.

Will Your Envelope Get Opened? Naturally, you can do the design work yourself with a simple layout program like Microsoft Publisher or you can hire a professional designer to create a layout and graphic befitting your business.

Graphic designers can set a mood or a look for your correspondence with ink colors and font styles in ways you never thought. Amateurs typically use too many typefaces with poorly coordinated colors that make the graphic elements hard to read or unpleasant to look at.

Consider what you are offering to the prospective analog spam sorter. What kind of presence does you envelope convey?

Is the correspondence casual or formal? Here is a thought, if you are flexible, change your layout for the season. Once again, if you are creative, do it yourself or hire a designer to create an envelope look for each season and holiday.

When you are making multiple contacts with prospects this is a sure way to get attention.

Assuming your envelope is addressed to the right party, getting it past the trash can and at least into the look-at-it-later pile can be leveraged with design features. Take a self-audit and consider what you are mailing. Do your envelopes convey the right message at the right time to the right party?
About the Author
Steve Robison writes for West Printing Company Download the Exclusive Special Report "20 Insider Tips" Secrets professional print buyers use to get the best pricing and service every time.
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