Tayla Ansell explains how one’s choice of envelope can add impact to marketing communications
With the growth in digital communications, people send and receive less mail. It is precisely for this reason that mail is such a great marketing tool.
High quality, eye-catching mail sent to the right person at the right time can have real impact – not least because it doesn’t have to fight as hard as for the recipient’s attention as a marketing email, say, or an e-bulletin.
That said, first impressions still count. As Jessica Roberts, marketing manager at Blake Envelopes, points out, the envelope and the packaging you use can matter just as much as the messaging within.
“Direct mail now forms an integral part of a business’s overall multichannel strategy, and the envelope should be considered as intrinsic a component as the subject line of an email or the hashtag of a social post. Yet, for many it is often the last consideration – even though it may be the first thing the target audience sees,” she said.
“Why scrimp on quality or style for the ‘window’ to a campaign that is inevitably the result of a significant investment in time, effort and undoubtedly budget?”
Teddy Townsend, sales director at PostSafe, adds that quality packaging is also important for e-commerce businesses, as it can help products stand out from the crowd.
He said: “As more and more products are shipped and delivered direct to recipients, it’s increasingly important not only to ensure that your product arrives in premium condition, but that your items are easily identifiable.”
Instead of using the bland, unattractive grey polybag packaging that a lot of e-commerce sellers favour, he recommends bright colours and strong branding.
“It makes a difference to the customer experience. They’ve browsed the webstore, they’ve completed the purchase and when it arrives on the doorstep in a colourful, branded polybag those endorphins kick in and the customer journey is completed with a little thrill.”
Here, then, are a few ways to give your mailing a lift:
Today you can find envelopes and mailing bags in a wide variety of sizes, textures and colours, including pastels, neon, foil and metallics.
To really catch the recipient’s eye, opt for a coloured envelope, rather than traditional brown, grey or white.
“Using stylish and colourful envelopes is proven to have a 40% higher success rate than a plain looking alternative,” explained Michael Barter, CEO of Blake Envelopes. “Our creative ranges are a celebration of colour and texture. First impressions matter and our range of quality, coloured papers, envelopes and postal solutions are guaranteed to make a great impression.”
Jessica Roberts added: “We still strongly believe in the power of direct mail and that our products have the authority to reignite the pleasure in receiving post. Our focus therefore is on producing envelopes that strengthen the message being sent and, most importantly, ensure that the first impression made is a lasting one.”
As well as using colour and texture to achieve this, consider using unusual shapes and sizes as an alternative to the conventional formats everyone is used to.
These could include bespoke designs and branding, which Postsafe’s Teddy Townsend claims can add real impact to mail and project an impression of professionalism and attention to detail, whilst also adding a sense of excitement to the customer experience.
“Our advice is, if you can afford to invest in bespoke solutions, then do so. You’ll improve the customer journey and they’ll feel more valued and have a more rewarding shopping experience with your business,” he said.
Blake’s Personalisation Service is often tasked with creating unique, made-to-order envelopes and packaging solutions.
Java Republic, a coffee and tea manufacturer based in Ireland, used it to produce a high quality, eye-catching, bespoke envelope for the mailing of its brand journal, which was being sent to customers as part of a rebranding exercise. Blake produced 600 bespoke, oversized bright purple envelopes that were designed to evoke excitement and intrigue as they dropped through the recipient’s letter box.
Blake doesn’t just create envelopes for mail. British furniture brand Higgs & Crick asked them to produce a small envelope with foil print to go with its £2,950 Kingsman Three-Piece Decanter Set. The 90mm x 60mm envelope held a small set of keys that opened a padlock on the solid walnut and maple box housing the handmade glassware. While only a small detail, Blake’s creation added an extra touch of finesse that helped elevate the overall branding.
Once you’ve picked your envelopes or packaging, you may want to give some thought to labels. In 2017, Avery UK conducted research that highlighted the importance of label design and the role labels play in encouraging recipients to open items quickly and tell others about what they have received.
Its research shows that using multiple labels on parcels and packaging can increase brand love by 129% and improve the perception of quality by 116%. Recipients are 135% more likely to tell someone else about the brand and have a 113% higher purchasing intent. Handwriting-style fonts, colour and emotive text and imagery were all proven to be effective in getting labels noticed.*
Fiona Mills, marketing director at Avery, said: “All your labels should have a clear purpose or it can be confusing for the recipient. Don’t cover parcels with lots of different labels just for the sake of it. Instead, make each one as effective as possible.”
Based on the results of its research, Avery has the following recommendations for small business owners who want to power up their packages:
1 Address labels – These are essential to ensure your parcel ends up in the right location, but you also need them to look professional and make a positive impression. Take time to think about the look of your label and don’t just scribble an address in a hurry.
2 Company branding – Adding labels that include your company logo or branding is a simple but effective way to build trust and confidence with customers. This shows the item is from a known source and prevents it from being viewed as junk mail.
3 Return address – This is a simple way to prevent mail from getting lost in the post. Should something go astray, it allows the item to be returned to you, saving the cost of lost mail.
4 Special messaging – Adding labels with a special message for the recipient will help attract attention and can inﬂuence future purchasing behaviour. Consider labels that say things like ‘Open me’, ‘See what’s inside’, ‘Handmade with love’ or ‘Just for you’.