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Stand-out Envelopes Make Your Direct Mail Stand Out

Credit: Getty Images by andresr

Direct mail volumes may be taking a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean your creativity should take a back seat. Whether acquiring new customers or looking for inspired ways to engage existing customers, direct mail continues to be an effective channel to elicit emotion and create a stronger connection with an audience than any digital channel can provide. However, getting consumers to open their mail is a crucial step in the process, which is why envelopes are the literal gateway to a successful direct mail campaign.

If you are making the financial investment in an outer envelope it is either because you have too many disclosures and fine print to fit on a postcard, or because you believe that the added effort of opening an envelope ensures an extra level of commitment from the recipient. If it’s the latter, what are you doing to incentivize that extra step?

Over the last 6-12 months, Comperemedia has observed a wide range of direct mail envelope strategies from marketers across many different industries. But what does it take to stand out and attract a deeper level of attention these days? Some of the most common ways to stand out in the mailbox include oversized envelopes, thicker cardstock, metallic prints, and other eye-catching enhancements. But some mailers, especially in financial services, have caught our eye as of late for what they say more than how shiny they are.

In a channel where image is everything, there’s something about this creative approach from Capital One offering auto financing. Keep in mind, we do not know how well these campaigns performed or what the ROI was for Capital One, but from a purely qualitative standpoint, this envelope-turned-license-plate is a welcome distraction during this time of so much stress and uncertainty.

Credit: Comperemedia

In addition to the eye-catching image taking over the entire front of the envelope, the back also drives the message home by asking an open-ended question and generating some excitement.

Credit: Comperemedia

While some brands are hesitant to begin truly selling again as we try to navigate our way out of this pandemic and into the recovery stage of the recession, others are moving full-steam ahead knowing that there are some purchases that consumers will continue to make, even in the midst of a financial crisis. If this is your strategy, it’s important to do so with tact and the acknowledgement that everyone is still living in a new reality.

In this example from BBVA Compass offering the BBVA ClearPoints Credit Card, the emphasis of the entire product and marketing strategy revolves around choice. Cardholders can choose in which categories they would like to earn accelerated points, and this is communicated from the very first point of contact – the outer envelope. With an easy-to-decipher graphic and imagery that shows not only the categories to choose from but also clearly indicates how many points one can earn, the message and value proposition is clear from the start.

Credit: Comperemedia

As you consider your own envelope strategy, keep in mind that this is not only the first point of contact for consumers collecting their mail every day, but it is likely an opportunity for double the engagement with any consumers that are enrolled in Informed Delivery. More than 26 million consumers are enrolled in this mail preview service from the USPS, which has seen a spike in registrations since the pandemic hit the U.S. Creating a unique, engaging, and informative envelope message can increase opens and set the stage for an even deeper level of engagement with your mail campaign.

Comperemedia, a Mintel company, is an industry-leading competitive marketing intelligence agency. To find out more about Comperemedia’s products and services, please get in touch.