Building the Right Type of Business Envelope

Meet the writer: Karen Pieper

Hi, I'm Karen! I've been in the industry for 21 years and can't wait to share my perspective on all things direct mail. I'm currently the Digital Marketing Manager at Letter Jacket Envelopes and deal with tasks from managing the website, facilitating conversations with customers, and much more!

So you’re convinced that direct mail is the way to go. Now you need to build the right type of business envelope to catch the eye and tell your story. Read on!

But first, let’s address the elephant in the room. Are there really that many options for business envelopes? A business envelope is a business envelope, right? White, security or non-security, a little plastic window, no plastic window. And that’s about it?

Well, call us biased (or just excited), but if you’re doing business with Letter Jacket Envelopes, who understands the appeal of paper, you’ll find there’s an art to creating the right envelope for your campaign. There are dozens of customizable options available, and with superior customer service and a broad inventory, you’ll be selecting a great product and learning about what’s out there for next time. We think you’ll have fun, too. Direct mail is about more than choosing a practical way to get information from one place to another. It’s about leveraging those little visual and physical details to create a positive, open response in your recipients. So, before you click that browse link, here’s a primer in some of those details that can make a difference.

Where to Start

Here’s where the practical and the creative start coming together. First, you’ll want to think about size. Letter Jacket Envelopes carries 6 3/4” to 10” in standard letter-size, as well as a variety of booklet and catalog sizes for mailings. What are you sending out into the world? The key here is to get an envelope with plenty of room, but a neat appearance. You want your material to fit crisply but slide out easily. Think tailored.

Next, how much security do you need? If keeping communications with clients confidential is a priority for you, you’ll want to invest in tinting. Now think about your industry. Financial correspondence might do well with an FDIC tint, while others may call for a basic crosshatch design. Letter Jacket Envelopes has options here, too: both kinds of tint come in black or blue.

And let’s not forget those windows. As the eye is the window to the soul, an envelope window is an eye into your brand. A clear address window may give a slightly more professional impression, while going without a window may offer a personal or informal feel. Self-addressed return envelopes, a welcome convenience for bills, orders, and other responses, can be made even more hospitable by including a plastic window for your address, so clients and customers don’t have to write it themselves. Or you may want a window for messaging to show through. Whatever you need, Letter Jacket Envelopes can fully customize windows to the size and location you want.

The final thing to think about here, of course, will be what goes behind your window. Think of that little plastic window as a frame. Whether the tone you want is urgency, curiosity, excitement, or intellectual engagement, the text, font, and color of paper within the frame gets an extra pop. What do you want that pop to accomplish?

A couple of additional basic details involve the back of your envelope. How do you want your reader to experience the big open? Your sealing flap can come in a sharp triangle or softer trapezoid shape. And there are different types of seal depending on your needs and distribution method. Gum lets recipients open their mail without tearing the envelope. This is usually a good option for catalogs and booklets. Glue adhesive lets the reader enjoy that satisfying experience of tearing open a crisp envelope. (The perfectionists among us–i.e., the ones who carefully remove holiday wrapping paper and fold it to reuse later–we may use letter openers for this, but believe us it’s just as satisfying.) Either way, you’re the curator of that experience.

Venturing Out

Don’t be afraid to try something new! Start with your paper options. Letter Jacket uses a high-quality standard white weave. But they also let you go old-school with darker brown kraft. And to take it up a serious notch in the texture department, you might consider an elegant and earthy 25% cotton blend. Cotton paper always signals a special occasion or a valuable relationship and comes from our own special house brand.

And don’t hold all your messages and logos inside. Does your envelope need text for a basic mailing need, such as a “first class” border? If not, customize even further. Try designing an envelope with text and images in one or multiple colors. Whether you’re going for bold, cheeky, urgent, serene, or friendly, adding color to your envelope not only adds a statement, it can also be a good for business. It’s a creative and classy way to make your direct mail stand out.

Speaking of class, if you need to include a self-addressed return envelope inside your campaign, why not make it self-seal? It’s a final option that can save your customer from the licked-envelope-glue taste, and that’s classy, too.

Don’t get stuck in a small handful of options when it comes to business envelopes. Discover exactly what you want. Is your message sharp, crisp, formal, to-the-point? Warm, personal, emotionally engaged? Or a subtle combination of different effects? Different types of business envelopes, along with customizable details, help fill a practical need. But as they fill that need, they also guide toward your branding and relational goals, with a little savvy.

So what are you waiting for? Get started! If you need help, check out our instructional video on fully customizing your order. If you prefer a conversation partner, call customer service, start a chat, or send us an email. We would love to help you find your perfect type. Because we all have one that works.

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We are positive you will love your envelopes! If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, please contact us and we will make it right!


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