Many small business owners have fretted over the best way to project a professional image, especially through normal communication channels such as mailings and direct marketing. Every business has letters to send to both partners and customers, and every letter must be delivered in an envelope. The most professional envelopes get the best treatment, the best delivery and the best response rates; so let’s examine what you can do to make your envelopes look more professional.
Your first step is to toss out any preconceptions you might have about the meaning of the word “professional.” Professional does not mean prestige, though it is often applied in that context. Professional means being very good at what you do. Sure, you can be a professional dancer and regale the crowd with your elegance; but you can also be a professional swindler, gambler, hit man and sniper, you get the idea.
Now that we’ve defined what professional means, we can apply this concept to envelope design: Professional envelope design is when your envelope motivates recipients to open it. That’s it. Assuming you have two basic functions for your envelopes – communications and sales – then you actually need two envelopes to achieve this end.
Corporate identity envelopes
Corporate identity envelopes should be branded. They should include your full-color logo and can also include a few graphic elements such as circles, lines, squares and swooshes if it works with your design. You don’t really need anything else here.
Sales letter envelopes
There are two schools of thought when it comes to sales letter envelopes. One maintains that you can incentivize opening envelopes by including your offer, tagline, images, teasers, etc., on the envelope’s front and back. There’s nothing wrong with this – the technique is heavily employed in all sectors from consumer to B2B.
The other school of thought is that a plain, white envelope is the best option. Called the intrigue – or mystery – envelope, plain, white envelopes cater to human curiosity: “Who sent this?” Studies have shown that plain, white envelopes, especially when handwritten, yield a higher response rate than teaser envelopes – unless the audience is extremely well targeted and the copy is superb.
So, which envelope type should you use for your marketing campaigns? The answer is “both.” Do your best to define a highly targeted mailing list and to create a compelling offer. Then, perform split tests between cross sections of your mailing list: Some will get teaser envelopes; others will get plain white envelopes. Track your response rate from each to see which performs better, and why. If your plain, white envelopes perform better, is it because they’re more attractive or because your teaser copy is lackluster? Can you get better response rates with the teaser if you tweak it?
No matter what you ultimately find to be more successful for your business, keep in mind that high-quality materials make an enormous difference in envelope open rate. Opt for a 70-pound white wove envelope or 24-pound synergy smooth white envelope for the best presentation. You can compare prices for both instantly at PsPrint.