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Envelope Design Guidelines

You may not think much of an envelope, but it can play a big part of your sales letter success. Envelope design needs to be well thought out to be effective. Know what it takes to get your mail noticed and letters opened.

The Unsung Hero of Direct Mail: Your Outer Envelope

Did you know the success of your next direct mail package hinges on the outer envelope (OE)?

The purpose of this white paper is to provide direct mail managers, writers, designers, and creative directors with tools for creating more effective OEs. These are envelopes that will help you increase response, beat your control, and generate a positive return on your direct mail investment.

Building A Better Envelope

Take nothing for granted.

Just because a standard #10, closed face, white envelope has worked in the past, doesn’t mean it’s still a control-beater today. Direct marketers understand the value of testing the elements of outer envelopes such as the size, shape, color, paper stock, texture, teaser copy, images, flap style, even postage. These provide new opportunities for breaking through the clutter. Don’t settle for “standard” unless it makes strategic sense.

Where Does Your Reader’s Eye Go First?

The science of eye tracking and understanding hot spots.

If your envelope doesn’t look convincing, interesting, and compelling enough to get routed to the right person and opened ... it doesn’t matter what you put or say inside. It all starts with the envelope.

Business Letter Envelope Components

This sample business letter envelope includes formal components, some of which are optional for typical, employment-related business letters.

The graphic below represents the US Postal Service automation guidelines for a standard business envelope that is 4-1/8 x 9-1/2 inches.

A Customer's Guide to Mailing: Envelopes

Letters, bills, greeting cards, and other documents can be sent in standard white, manila, or recycled paper envelopes. Items needing extra protection can be sent in bubble-lined, padded paper, or waterproof envelopes. These envelopes, along with stationery and prepaid First-Class Mail postcards and envelopes, can be purchased at the Post Office.

Engage Your Envelopes in Multi-Channel Marketing

QR codes and your direct mail envelopes.

A QR Code is a type of “Quick Response” 2D barcode that encodes information into a small square that’s quickly and easily scanned by smartphones. Highly popular in Asia and Europe, they’re increasingly used in the U.S. as smartphone ownership grows rapidly.

Correspondence and Announcement Envelope Sizes/Dimensions

Standard sizes (dimensions in inches) for correspondence and announcements envelopes.

Tips and Tools for Measuring

Use these rulers and guide boxes to measure letters and large envelopes.

Once a piece of mail exceeds the maximum length, height, or thickness of one shape, it automatically gets classified as the next largest shape.