July 18, 2024

Professional or Opened?

I received a call a while back from a business owner who wanted to send out a sales letter to a group of prospects that the business had never contacted before (cold call). They wanted to use their standard company envelope, the one with their company logo and address as the return address, and they wanted us to meter it as it would look professional.

Now if you have been reading these tips for any length of time or know me, you know I suggested a better way to get the envelope open.

I suggested that they could use a plain envelope and just have their return address, city, state and zip on it. No company name, no logo. Also I suggested that instead of the barcode and bulk mail information we put on the envelope to get a lower postage rate, we address it in a font that looks like it’s handwritten or use a font that looks like you passed it through your own printer at home. Then I suggested that instead of metering it they place a full postage stamp on it and one of the commemorative-type stamps.

The thinking (and it has been proven!) is that people will look at the envelope, try to figure out who lives at that address, look at the stamp and put it into the “A” pile to be opened now, not the “B” pile to be opened later or the trash pile.

If you really want to get the envelope open, do the above but with a colored envelope or one that looks like there is a greeting card inside or an invitation.

But guess what? They did not like the suggestion and wanted the professional look (with the metering and the barcode since they wanted the discounted rate). They thought it would look unprofessional, that it might embarrass them. Businesses in their profession just do not send letters out like that! How many letters do you think got opened, read and responded to?

There are 2 marketing tips here. Do you know what the second one is?

That’s all for now!

Till next week -Great Things Happen, But You Have To Take Action


The Freedman Co.


  1. Phil – Thanks for the case study and direct mail tips. And thank you for the reminder – when spending marketing $ in today’s marketplace, EVERY TACTIC is a test. Why not heed the counsel of a marketing professional to have the best chance for maximum results? ~ Barbara