Torn open and tossed aside, envelopes are an often-forgotten part of the mail lifecycle, but they play an important role in both protecting mail and improving the effectiveness of direct mail campaigns. The U.S. Postal Service® sent nearly 34 billion pieces of First-Class Mail® and marketing mail in the first quarter of 2017, and envelopes ensured those pieces arrived both at their correct destination and in acceptable condition. In some cases, envelopes even improved open rates.
In a competitive business environment, organizations need to think about how every part of their operations deliver value. Envelopes are no different, and by understanding how they can enhance and improve your mail operations, you can drive better business results from this undervalued asset. Here’s what the right envelopes can bring to your business.
01) Envelopes protect mail
The most basic function of the envelope is to serve as protective packaging. A sturdy, reliable envelope that fits USPS® guidelines protects mail from damage, ensures efficient processing and keeps its contents secure from unauthorized readers. It’s a benefit that’s taken for granted, but consider the alternative: hand-delivering mail is impractical for any business or individual, while sending loose mail through the post is both inefficient (since there’s no way to ensure it reaches its destination) and unsecure.
Highly sensitive mail, including financial statements, healthcare disclosures or other private personal information, simply can’t be sent without a discrete envelope, since exposing that information to unauthorized individuals risks a compliance violation. Mail tampering laws assure the integrity and security of mail sent in an envelope, giving businesses and customers peace of mind that their mail will end up in the right hands.
02) Envelopes communicate information
Granted, there can be an element of surprise and excitement to receiving a mysterious envelope with no return address – “who could it be from?!” But, far from looking to star in their own film noir, most people who receive a letter simply want to know who sent it and why.
The second basic function of the envelope is to communicate that information to the recipient, and that’s an important value-add for a business in its own right. A customer or prospect is not likely to open an envelope that’s not addressed to them. But, further value can be gained when businesses use space on the front of the envelope to capture the recipient’s attention.
Adding your corporate logo in the return field strengthens each mailpiece’s association to your brand. Text on the front of the envelope could tip recipients off to an exclusive offer inside. A little bit of creativity can ensure envelopes play as an important a role in your communications campaign as the mail inside.
03) Envelopes enhance engagement
That leads into the third, and often overlooked, way that envelopes add business value: a colorful, tailored business envelope is a great way to boost engagement from direct mail campaigns. In fact, 89 percent of consumers say they’re more likely to open a piece of mail with color graphics on the front compared to one without any design.
Brands have had great success by distinguishing their mail through a colorful seal flap, or adding artistic designs to the face. It’s important to remember that visually striking mail pieces still need to fit USPS guidelines, in order to remain as “machine friendly” as possible for the post. Improper coloring, address placement or shapes could delay mail or add costs.
But, by working with the right mail design expert, you can create attractive envelopes that boost campaign effectiveness. It’s just one way that envelopes enhance modern mailing environments.
Drawing on over 95 years of mailing innovation, Pitney Bowes has created the new standard in business and inserting envelopes. Learn how Pitney Bowes Envelopes can add value to your mailing operations through accuracy, precision and custom envelope support.