Is Good Business Sense Derailing Your Success?

“All collated and addressed…now all we have to do is lick the envelopes, affix the stamps and mail the cards off.”

Yippee! We were at the end stages of our spring project: a beautiful self-promotion gift designed especially for our PaperSpecs PRO members (a set of three postcards and belly band, letterpress printed, in a scrumptious A7 envelope).

Now, the last thing I wanted anyone on my team to do was lick the envelopes. The Seinfeld episode where George’s fiancée Susan dies from licking cheap wedding invite envelopes is forever embedded in my mind.

Granted, we were only sending out a few hundred letters; but still, we hand addressed every envelope.

In the days of self-seal envelopes and clear address labels, why did we even go through all that hoopla you might ask? Wouldn’t it have saved time, money and made better business sense? You might be tempted to think so.

Envelopes as extensions of the experience
Despite the fact (or maybe because of it) there are fewer pieces in my mailbox these days, I can spot an impostor a mile away.

Address labels. Really? Metered mail. Seriously?

In my book, and in the eyes of the recipients of your mail, how a message is delivered can be even more important than the content of the message itself. It’s one of those subliminal things that you need to be aware of.

1. Envelopes reflect on your company

When it comes to an introductory letter, a thank you note or a self-promotion, first impressions are important. (Aren’t they always?)

A flimsy #10 envelope sends a certain message about how much you value the recipient of the mailing. It also reflects on your company and how solid and trustworthy you are perceived to be.

2. Envelopes demonstrate that you went the extra step

Granted, e-mails are faster (unless they land in the SPAM folder), and postcards are less expensive to send; but a nice envelope always intrigues and shows the recipient that someone went the extra mile.

3. Envelopes personally addressed always hit the mark

You have no choice. When a hand-addressed envelope crosses your path, you won’t be able to toss it out. Your impulse to find out who made the extra effort to get your attention is too great. You have to open it. And this is your first step to success.

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  • Small Print Shop Owner

    I disagree… Hand-addressed envelopes look amateurish to me and are usually a sure sign of junk mail when I receive them. They’re often filled with poorly created content that was carelessly and crookedly done on an old copier before being hand-folded incorrectly. As a commercial printer who does direct mailing, I want to make sure that my skills are reflected properly in the solicitation materials I send to potential clients. They should be beautifully printed, properly folded and inserted into a nice heavy 28# envelope. The addressee’s information is crisply printed in legible, OCR compatible type with the same address printer that I will use to send mail to your clients. The mailing is paid for with my permit because I have one and do not have to rely on stamps like the printer who is working out of his garage. My printed materials are the first and last thing you see that represents my company. They should not look like they were done by hand on someone’s lunch break!