December 20, 2018

Your envelope has one goal: to get opened. The outer envelope is just as important as what is inside the envelope. Here’s a few key things to consider:


  • Customers make a subconscious judgment about a direct mail piece within 90 seconds of initial viewing.
  • 60-90% of this assessment is based on color. Adding full color increases response rates by 45%.
  • Using color creates a more “exclusive” look. Branded, well-designed and informative envelopes add to the value of the piece.
  • 84% of consumers say color is the primary reason for buying a product.
  • 80% believe color increases brand recognition.
Envelope Collage


  • Incorporating special varnishes or uv and foils can create an impact.
  • Incorporate interactive elements, different textures and new design ideas to add a sense of discovery to the experience.
Envelope Collage

Shapes and sizes:

  • An unusual shaped envelope is not a guarantee for success but will improve your chances of getting opened.
Envelope Collage

A few other hints that can help you get past the gatekeeper and into the hands of your targeted audience:

  1. Teaser copy
  2. Direct call to action such as “Don’t miss this sale”
  3. An image of your product
  4. A deadline
  5. Heavier paper which is often associated with higher quality and upscale brands
  6. Zip-strip opener, peel off sticker or pull off post-it note
  7. Non-standard window

We also wanted to share a unique envelope that recently arrived in our mailbox from XM radio.

Unusual direct mail envelope idea

Notice the embossing on the envelope which gave it a very interesting look and feel. Great job by XM Radio to try something different to attract consumer’s attention.

Unusual direct mail envelope idea

Experiment with the ideas above to best suit your product/service as well as your targeted audience. Don’t let your envelope be an afterthought!