How to improve your campaign open rates

Adding some sparkle to your envelopes goes a long way to making sure your campaign is seen.

As a direct marketing professional with over 20 years experience of UK and North American markets, there is one aspect of direct marketing that never ceases to amaze me… the lack of interest, effort and care that goes into the packaging (envelope or similar) of a direct marketing campaign.

Let me clarify what I mean….

As a recipient of countless direct marketing campaigns from trade exhibitions, promotional merchandise companies, automotive manufacturers, not to mention the mobile phone, TV and other consumer-based campaigns I receive, I am still staggered at the number that arrive on my desk in a plain white (or even brown!) envelope or cardboard box.

After examining the standard black and white label, which is even just hand-written at times, I open up the letter or package to reveal a campaign that would have cost the organisation in question a sizeable budget.

(NOTE: I need to emphasise that the ONLY reason I do actually open the campaign is because I am a direct marketer and I want to discover how much time, creativity and budget has been spent on the contents. Also, I like to see who has sent the campaign, as I will contact them and ask why they’ve not put more effort into their envelope / packaging to improve their open rates.)

The content has all the craft, lateral thinking and creativity that you’d expect from a campaign – yet, the marketers who have put the campaign together have missed the point entirely, and potentially cost their organisation tens (or more) of thousands of pounds in lost revenue.

Why? Because they forgot that the FIRST point of engagement with a direct marketing campaign is the point at which it arrives on your desk among the pile of other post.

Therefore, the first task of the direct marketing campaign is to BE SEEN in amongst crowd of other envelopes and packages.

The only way to do this is to differentiate it using colour, texture and size – ideally all three.

In my campaigns, I am constantly requesting samples of shiny envelopes, textured envelopes, envelopes that complement my brand colours or the colours of my content – anything that can provide me with an edge over my competition (competition in this case being the other letters and direct marketing campaigns that my recipient is receiving).

So the next time you begin to create your next direct marketing campaign, please remember to put aside a little more time and budget to enable you to give it the packaging it deserves and help it to stand out from the crowd.

About the author

For the last 20 years Kevin Matthews has worked throughout the UK and North America within the field of marketing management. He favours working within entrepreneurial business environments, where his has the scope to engage within all aspects of the Marketing Mix. An exponent of ‘one-to-one marketing,’ Matthews is a firm believer that every marketing piece can be constructed in a manner that communicates an individual message to its intended recipient.

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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Direct Marketing