Just how important is the outer envelope in regards to your direct mail success? Direct mail agencies know that the first point of contact with your consumer is the outer envelope and that if you fail on that first impression, you have failed entirely. Whether you are marketing to a business or individual consumer, mail is often filtered by someone who will deem it recycle material or worthy of open just by the determining factor of its appearance. For this reason, the outer envelope can be a best friend or worst enemy for those sending out direct mail correspondence. Here are a couple of different strategies that we employ to make sure that our envelopes get opened:

1. The Personal Handwritten Envelope

This is usually a #10 or 6”x 9” sized envelope that DOES NOT have a window. The recipient’s address and return address is printed in a realistic handwritten font to give the idea of a personal message. The envelope will also have an actual bulk rate stamp instead of a printed indicia. It is very important to keep this envelope simple and not give too much away to your potential customer.

2. The “Important Document” Window Envelope

This envelope is most commonly a #10 Window Envelope with a very “official” appearance. The envelope is intended to convince your prospect that the contents are very important and time sensitive. If your message contains highly targeted data, you can even let them know that there is personal information enclosed and the document requires their immediate attention.

Mission #1: Get Past the Gatekeeper…

The initial goal is to get your mail opened and that will not happen if you try telling your story on the outer envelope. You cannot go wrong by keeping the design simple and to avoid making your mail appear as an advertisement. Your message is important and should be treated as such. You may be tempted to use teaser copy on the outside of your envelope showcasing the incredible offer that your dealership has for them. More often than not, this just gives your recipient a reason to toss your unopened mail right to the trash.


If you would like to learn more about automotive direct mail marketing or the importance of a strong outer envelope, please visit www.acceleratedmktg.com.