In a previous post, Emily wrote about 7 Ways to Enhance Your Direct Mail Campaign, which covered some important elements involved with putting together a successful direct mail campaign.

Today, we’re going to dive a bit deeper and cover some ways you can help your direct mail pieces make it through the mailbox clutter and actually get opened by your intended recipient.

Why am I spending time writing about this?

Even if you have the best written direct mail piece, a well-selected list, and a powerful call to action, if no one opens it, all of your hard work and money will go to waste.

The packaging of your direct mail pieces is one of the most critical direct mail components that not enough entrepreneurs put enough time into thinking about. As the late Gary Halbert said, the first objective of a direct mail campaign is to get it into the “A” pile and be opened.

Here are 14 ways to get your direct mail pieces to stand out from the crowd and get sorted into the “A” pile.

  1. Handwrite the recipient’s address.
  2. Use a real stamp (seasonal theme or collector editions work best) and put it on a little crooked.
  3. Use a return address label (like the ones you use for your personal name).
  4. Do not include a company name in the return address.
  5. Use a street address for the return address instead of a P.O. Box.
  6. Use dimensional mail, also known as 3-D mail (e.g. mini garbage can, toys, pens).
  7. Put a grabber on the outside of the envelope (e.g. nickel, penny, etc.).
  8. Use unusual items as the envelope (e.g. popcorn bag, brown bag, diner placemat).
  9. Put a personalized headline on the envelope.
  10. If sending a high-end offer or marketing to executives, use FedEx or UPS.
  11. Use an official looking envelope.
  12. Put a tracking number on the envelope.
  13. Include a premium on the envelope (e.g. Free Birthday Gift Offer Inside).
  14. Use a clear envelope to give a sneak peak of what’s inside

Direct mail is still an effective way to market, and you should do all that you can to make sure it is successful; just don’t forget about the envelope.

Do you have any other suggestions to add to the list? What has worked for you?

Image credit: migfresno