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Woman getting mail.

Print “Tear Me Open” Envelopes

by Chris Wysong

Like you, many fellow commercial printers are looking to expand their mail service offerings.

You can help support your customers' direct mail campaigns by focusing on how to promote high open rates. Start by asking: What more can you offer your customers to help boost the number of people who actually tear open their envelopes?

Envelopes offer a welcoming “handshake” to potential buyers, enticing them to read what’s inside.

You can help enhance the envelope.

Envelopes offer a welcoming “handshake” to potential buyers, enticing them to read what’s inside. As such, your shop must be able to offer clients a platform to create unique, eye-catching envelopes — in various colors, sizes, papers and textures, and using variable data input.

You may be concerned about the cost, and when you would see the ROI. Consider this scenario: You purchase a machine costing $20,000 to print 10,000 four-color envelopes a month in batches of 1,000, priced at $200 each. Your payback period would then be just 12 months, after which, your ROI could grow exponentially.

If you want to recognize your true ROI potential, it is time to start exploring new technology options. First, decide on the capabilities most important for your shop. Your location may influence your choices. Does a nearby college send out fund-raising letters regularly? Does a hospital send out health advisories? Does a retailer send out promotions? Beyond your neighborhood, do you expect to gain business over the Internet?

You may want to work with an experienced partner like us to help tailor a system for your business. The following checklist and tips can help you identify what is most important for your professional envelope print system. 

With an efficient envelope printing system on your floor, you can start building an even stronger reputation as a direct mail expert


Checklist for digital envelope printing system

  • How fast of a system do you need to handle your requirements?
  • Can the system run full-color jobs, including variable data, in one pass?
  • Can the system print on a variety of sizes and stocks, including coated, uncoated and textured?
  • Is the print waterproof to handle being dropped in water or snow?
  • Does the technology include an automated workflow management system?

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Seal the deal with new customers by offering a new model for direct mail.

5 tips for creating “tear-me-open” envelopes

  • Print teasers on the front, back and even inside the envelope to provoke curiosity.
  • Personalize envelopes through variable-data messaging and incentives.
  • Time envelopes to arrive on a Tuesday or Wednesday, the lightest postal delivery days.
  • Use oversized envelopes that people can’t resist opening.
  • Create an exclusive touch-and-feel experience with unusual paper stocks — satiny, linen, vellum, smooth and rough.
Chris Wysong
Chris Wysong, Senior Manager, Wide Format and Finishing Solutions, Ricoh USA, Inc. has 28 years in the industry and is focused on bringing new products to market, including product development for inline finishing solutions, finishing device launches, and wide format production print strategy, development, launch, and go to market.