Your direct mail envelope can play a passive or active role in your marketing, depending on how you treat it.
Left blank, it passively encourages recipients to look inside. It teases your audience without saying a word. It hides any hint of its contents in the hope that the recipient will be curious enough to open it.
Used as a miniature billboard, however, envelopes actively entice recipients to check out your contents. They lure readers into examining the envelope’s contents by promising or hinting at a gift or benefit that awaits inside.
But when it comes to teaser copy and envelopes, you’re not limited to printing your teasers on the outside of the envelope. You actually have two choices: print it directly on the envelope or print it on your letter and let it peek through a window envelope.
Is one better than another? That depends on your goal and your budget.
The Advantages of Window Envelopes
Do you want efficiency? Mailing letters and other direct mail promotions in a window envelope kills two birds with one stone: you personalize the letter AND address the envelope in one swoop, and without the extra step or fear of mis-matching the components.
Do you want flexibility? Despite what the selection at your local office supply store indicates, you’re not limited to the standard-sized window opening in the standard location. In fact, as long as you adhere to postal regulations, you can customize window envelopes with larger openings, openings that wrap around the back of the envelope, and openings in custom shapes. Does that cost more to produce? Yes. Can it increase your open rate and response rate? Absolutely.
Window envelopes are widely used for a reason, but so are “regular” windowless envelopes.
The Advantage of Windowless Envelopes
Do you want instant messaging? The beauty of printing teaser copy on the envelope itself is visibility: your recipients—and anyone else whose hands your envelopes pass through before reaching their intended targets—will know, or at least have an idea, of what you’re pitching immediately, without ever having to open the envelope, AND you’re not limited to how much text you can squeeze inside the confines of the envelope’s window. Whether you print unique design elements, sneak-peek photos of upcoming events or products, limited-time offers, exclusive offers, or a brief bullet list of benefits, teaser copy printed on an envelope gives recipients a reason to open the envelope, to find out more. Just be careful that your tease matches your pitch. Luring readers in with a misleading or over-hyped promise that isn’t fulfilled once inside the envelope is a sure-fire way to build distrust with your audience.
Just like your offers, your decision to tease, not to tease, to tease through a window, or to tease on the envelope itself isn’t a one-size fits all. You’ll need to test to see which audiences respond better to which approach and for which offers.