Best Practices for High Open Rate Envelopes

May 26, 2015 -

A successful direct mail campaign depends on a number of factors including a high-quality list and a compelling offer.  However, even the most compelling offer mailed to the right prospect will only succeed if the recipient opens the envelope.

Because the envelope is the first thing your prospect sees, you have just seconds to pique their interest and entice them to open the envelope and read what is inside.

So, how can you improve your open rate?  Here are five techniques that will help your envelope stand out.

Font Style

Bulk mail is usually printed with a standard typeface such as Times New Roman or Courier, which makes it easy for today’s savvy consumers to identify it.  A handwritten font creates the appearance that someone wrote the address with a pen.  This technique grabs the recipient’s attention and increases the likelihood the envelope will get opened.

Ink Color

Since black ink is most common color used for printed mail pieces, using blue ink will enhance the handwritten look of your envelope, making it more compelling to open.


Consumers today are familiar with the bulk mail indicia, and instantly associate it with unsolicited or junk mail.  Instead, apply a live pre-canceled stamp with a “mailed from” permit to make your envelope look as though it was mailed from an individual person.


Any text on the envelope that does not appear handwritten can lead the recipient to think it is bulk mail.  Remove the automation lines to prevent this.

Bar Code Placement

Bar codes play a key role in properly moving mail through the postal system. As a result, they are required on all mail pieces.  However, simply moving the bar code to the right instead of centering it under the address as it is on most bulk mail can make it appear similar to a single mail piece dropped in the mailbox.

Implementing the five techniques listed above can improve open rate by as much as 1% on average.  Think that doesn’t sound like much?  Check out the math in our recent post, Penny Wise and Pound Foolish: Focus on ROI vs Costs when Choosing a Direct Mail Partner to see just how much even a small increase in open rates can impact your bottom line.

Want to add a personal touch to your envelopes?  AMG can create exclusive fonts from your own handwriting!  Contact us today to learn more about this service and how AMG can help you improve the open rate of your envelopes.

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Best Practices for High Open Rate Envelopes | Blog