By Rob Hanks
IMPACTFUL ENVELOPES CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
Mailers have one main goal when it comes to their mail pieces: Get the customer to respond. Your choices in envelopes have more to do with achieving that goal than you may think.
e have all heard the tidbit that people decide to open a mail piece in less than two seconds. So, how do you ensure your envelope is opened while qualifying as an automation-compatible mail piece? Try going outside the standard #10 or 6” x 9” envelope, or using teaser copy, a personalized message, or a specialty coating to change the look and feel of your envelope. Ready? Let’s dive into these elements a bit more. Envelope Size Does Matter! Number 10 and 6” x 9” envelopes are the most common letter-size envelopes used in direct mail, but changing to a different size can help your mail piece stand out in a stack of mail, giving you a higher response rate. 16
MAY-JUNE 2019 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com
Using a #11, #12, or even a #14 envelope will allow your piece to stick out from the crowd while still providing you with the automated letter rate of postage. An A-10 envelope is 6” x 9.5” inches, giving you an additional ½” in width. The extra ½” allows for a thicker set of inserts and makes it easier for machine inserting. Additionally, using a 6” x 9” or A-10 envelope lets you half-fold 8.5” x 11” inch inserts rather than letter-fold as you would need to do with a #10 envelope. This allows you to place additional inserts into the envelope and still be less than 1/4” in thickness. A mail piece over 1/4” in thickness does not qualify as an automated letter, thereby adding additional postage. Another option is a showcase envelope, where one side of the envelope has an oversized window. A 6” x 9” showcase envelope will have a window size of 4”
x 7 3/8”, allowing you to show an attention-grabbing insert that can have a call to action or personalized message. Showcase window envelopes also come in various sizes, including a #10, a 6” x 9”, a 9” x 12”, and even a 10” x 13”. “A” series envelopes are another option that can give the look of an invitation. These can be purchased with a machineable flap to allow for machine inserting or printed on flat sheets and converted. This gives the look of a personalized or special event mail piece. A-5, A-6, and A-7 are the most common size of invitation style envelopes used. A 4-Bar (baronial) envelope is also commonly used when sending out a gift card in a holder. If you want to make a big statement, try using a larger, flat-size envelope such as a 9” x 12” or a 12” x 15” (the latter is the largest flat-size mail piece allowed by the
Mailing Systems Technology May/June 2019