I find it interesting that when we are asked to look at someone’s direct mail, all they tend to send us is the letter.
“Where’s the envelope? ” I ask.
There are two different types of envelopes.
Those made in-house at charities, I can tell you without looking at yours, is a #10 white envelope. It likely has your logo on it and a tagline that reads like a statement. Or maybe a small photo of something that you can’t quite make out. Or maybe nothing.
Those made by agencies likely are also white #10 envelopes. It likely has your logo on it and a tagline that reads like a statement. Or a new logo for some program that no one has heard of, created by your branding folk. Possibly it is more clever. “Delivery Information.” “A Special Invitation…” “I couldn’t do it without you…” Maybe it has a large image on it.
The envelope matters so much!
Even if your appeal letter was written by God himself, or even better, Tom Ahern!, if the envelope is rubbish then into the bin it goes.
So what’s a better envelope?
The more it looks like a personal piece of communication from YOU to ME (the donor) the better it will do.
In testing, almost anything will do better than a #10 envelope.
In testing, 75% of the time, a blank envelope will beat almost anything else.
A good tagline needs to pique the interest of the viewer. “What does this mean?” “I need to find out more about this right now!” “What’s this about?” “I need to do something about this!”
Taglines do work in testing if they are the right kind of tagline.
Photo’s do work in testing – the best are emotional images with lots of eye contact.
The envelope matters. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I still lie awake at night thinking about the outer envelope. Do you?
If you want to chat more about direct response and direct mail, we will be hosting some upcoming Facebook Live audits and sessions – just join our Facebook page to learn more. Send in yours if you want us to look at it during one of the sessions or if you want some help crafting better appeals!