The Mail Moment: Creating Envelopes That Get Opened

May 13, 2019

Direct mail printed using digital inkjet printer.

You’re almost home after a long day. Besides dealing with your normal work and life challenges, you’ve seen hundreds of promotional emails, popups, texts, and other digital messages as you jump from one device to another. You probably ignored most of them.

Does this sound familiar?

Whether you realize it or not, your brain is looking for something to interrupt your train of thought, something to stop it in its tracks, and maybe even, ”Wow” it.

And there, in your mailbox, is your mail, just waiting to be grasped by your hands and opened.

This is the “Mail Moment.”

It’s anticipation, surprise, delight, curiosity, and so much more – all because of ink-on-paper, direct mail. It’s the feeling you get when you’ve received a birthday card from a beloved relative on the other side of the country, or while unboxing a package delivery for the shirt you ordered from a trendy online retailer.

For the sender, it is the use of a physical experience to make a connection – tactile, emotional, or both – with the person who received the mail piece.

Science backs up the feeling that we get from the “mail moment.” Multiple neuroscience studies have shown that direct mail is easier to understand and more memorable than other communication channels – especially digital. According to market research firm True Impact,  mail’s motivation response – the feeling of wanting that drives behavior – is 20% higher than digital media.

Of all direct mail formats cited in the True Impact study, envelopes and dimensional mailers (such as padded envelopes) scored the highest effectiveness rates. And those formats with a high degree of sensory engagement performed best, because of how they activated different parts of the brain.

If you’re a marketer – or a printer who thinks like a marketer – this is your chance to shine. To stand apart from the competition, and to generate momentum, you need to create a memorable customer experience. The envelope is the best place to start.

How to Create Connections with Recipients

So how do you actually create a mail moment with an envelope?

Unlike postcards or folded self-mailers, envelopes employ a range of visual and tactile cues to attract attention, build interest, get opened, and inspire action.

Teaser copy. This is the provocative “headline” across the front of the envelope. Maybe it’s copy that taps one of the seven main emotions (anger, greed, fear, guilt, flattery, exclusivity, salvation) that trigger response. Or maybe it’s an urgent call to action: “Limited Time Offer!” Either way, you’re using words – powerful words – to hint at what lies inside the envelope.

Involvement devices. These techniques require a prospect to take an action — such as peeling off a sticker or removing a coupon or a personalized card — to proceed. The objective is to extend the time, even by a few seconds, that the reader spends with the mailer before opening it.

Personalization. Go beyond a simple shout-out to the addressee’s first name. Instead, leverage their personal information by printing a personalized map or a relevant image with variable data printing (VDP).

Texture and Finish. How your mailing feels to the recipient can get it opened. Look for papers, inks, and finishes that provide an interesting tactile touch for the entire outer envelope, or to spotlight certain copy, images, or graphics.

Weight or Lumpiness. An envelope with some thickness or heft to it, thanks to multiple or thick inserts, sparks curiosity about what could be inside.

How to Capture The Mail Moment

Although surveys show that millennials and Generation Z really like direct mail and print as an alternative to digital clutter, this doesn’t mean that the envelopes that have worked in the past will continue to work in the future.

With inkjet printing, envelopes can attract attention, build interest, and inspire action like never before.

Memjet’s inkjet technology, used in solutions from several partner companies, delivers fast, simple, and affordable envelopes (and small packages). More and better personalization, bleed-to-edge color, and smaller, flexible runs help to create customer success stories.

Printware’s iJetColorPro, for example, is a high-speed light industrial envelope press, powered by Memjet. It can produce between 1,750 to 7,120 full-bleed, full-color images per hour, depending on the dimensions of the mail piece. Envelope thickness, whether filled or unfilled, can be up to 1”, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of marketing campaigns.

The human body is wired for unique, tangible experiences that the digital world just can’t provide. With the right well-designed envelope, you can steal some of that digital time and create a Mail Moment for your customer. You can deliver an experience that makes them connect – literally and emotionally –  to the envelope you put in their hands, and to the message you put inside it. You can find out more by visiting resources and downloading an educational eBook.

What Can Memjet
Technology Do For You?

Whether you are an OEM looking to integrate Memjet technology into your printing solution, a print provider looking for the right Powered by Memjet product or a brand owner who wants to use digital inkjet printing technology in new and interesting ways, we can help.