Art & Design, Direct Mail Products

5 Best Practices for Direct Mail Envelopes

Your direct mail envelope has one job: to get itself opened. How it accomplishes this isn’t simple but relies on a variety of tools and tactics you can use.

Let’s start with this basic truth: creative envelope design starts when you grab your recipients’ attention as soon as they see it in their mailbox or feel it in their hands. Your copy, images, and even your ink and paper, should help it stand out from what they usually get in their mail while at the same time, support your brand and the offer inside.

Stock envelopes, which are usually packaged until needed, are generally not customized. Because they’re already assembled, they can be integrated into campaigns and mailed with less lead time than converted envelopes.

Great envelopes are converted, not born. They start as rolls of paper or flat sheets. With in-line cutting, scoring, folding, and gluing, they can be produced in a range of sizes and engaging styles.

With a custom die, for example, get your one-of-a-kind design approved by our in-house USPS Verification office.

To get your messaging seen, here are 5 best practices for direct mail envelopes:

1. Color and Creative Design

Plain white says “blah.” Add some “wow!” with solid-color envelopes or full-bleed 4-color images that pop.

2. Teaser Copy

All by itself, a provocative or intriguing headline – maybe one that’s personalized or pushes an emotional button – can get your envelope opened.

3. Windows

Add an extra window next to your address window or on the back – or both! – to tease the contents inside the envelope. Or think about customizing the size and placement of your windows, too.

4. Size & Shape

The #10 is the most common envelope but consider other sizes, or using a custom shape-cut (which appears on the edge between the top and bottom) for something different.

5. Paper & Ink

Your envelope must meet USPS thickness standards to run through the postal machines. Still, you have plenty of leeway for various paper stocks, embellishments, and finishes.

Wrapping It Up

Envelopes give you a lot of choices to carry your message to prospects and customers. Use envelopes with visual and tactile appeal, as well as a smart or intriguing headline or brand name.

Remember, you can use any of these tactics by themselves or in combination for greater impact.

At, our envelope experts will work closely with you to figure out the best creative envelope design for your brand’s individual campaign goals and budget. We make the entire process run accurately and efficiently, saving you time and money, and delivering peace of mind.

Need more details on how your envelopes can stand out and get opened? Contact our team at!

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