Ten Envelope Test Ideas to Increase Response—Tools & Tips

If you’re looking to increase the response rate for your direct mail package, but feel the cost of designing an entirely new package is costly, consider testing a new envelope. Ten Envelope Test Ideas to Increase Response— Tools & Tips will provide cost-effective test ideas that can increase response and give your fundraising campaign a boost.

Donors open envelopes based on what they look like and what they say, so the following factors can make or break your entire direct-mail campaign. That’s why today we’re sharing with you the top ten envelope test ideas to increase response.

Ten Direct Mail Envelope Test Ideas to Increase Response—Tools & Tips

Envelope Size

Using a larger outside envelope oftentimes leads to higher response rates. Try this approach with your major or monthly donors.

Closed-Face Envelope

Using closed-face envelopes with handwritten fonts, while more expensive, is another approach that works well with high-dollar donors because it is personal.

It’s well-known in the non-profit industry that 88% of an organization’s donations are from 12% of its donors. Major donors contribute substantially to overall fundraising goals and the success of an organization.

If your organization doesn’t have a major gift program or needs a refresh, Major Gift Fundraising – Tools & Tips provides essential information to create and sustain a successful major donor program.

Window Envelope

Double-window envelopes are a great way to showcase a membership card as well as colorful premiums like address labels and greeting cards. Be sure to include copy that hints at an enclosed gift.

Envelope Stock to Increase Response

Oftentimes, testing a different envelope stock motivates prospects and donors to open the envelope: a unique texture can catch the eye. Think about testing brown kraft, full-color, glossy, or cardboard stocks. Does your current outer-envelope (color, shape, size, etc.) grab your attention, even when mixed in a pile of mail? Something unique in the mail can result in higher open rates.

It is important to be careful about utilizing expensive paper or more expensive finishing methods, because this may lead donors to think their contributions are not being spent wisely.

Live Stamp on Envelope

Make your mailings more personal by adding a live stamp to the outer envelope, rather than using pre-printed indicia. Live stamps have been shown to increase response rates. Even though there will be an extra cost to affix them, the higher response and oftentimes higher-than-average gift will compensate for the additional expense.

What Makes an Envelope Stand Out? Ten Envelope Test Ideas to Increase Response—Tools & Tips

Corner Card

What does your corner card look like? Try adding “From the Office of the President,” an officers name in a handwritten font, or consider a colorful mock label.

Envelope Teaser Copy to Increase Response

Envelope teaser copy is an inexpensive and effective way to pique donor interest. The copy can range from “special message for you inside,” to ”how you can help.” Ask yourself this; Does the messaging or visuals on the outer envelope make you want to open it?

Images on Envelope to Increase Response

Images can oftentimes increase results. Try featuring a photograph of someone your organization helped on the outside envelope. Then tie the image with compelling teaser copy.

Graphics on Envelope

Seasonal and holiday touches such as flowers, pumpkins, and snowflakes can make outer envelopes more engaging to the donor during certain times of the year, especially if you tie them in with your organization’s brand.

Envelope Color

A new graphic or color can go a long way when competing with other mail in a donor’s mailbox.

I’ve had success revitalizing a direct mail-acquisition campaign by using a series of different colored outside envelopes. Oftentimes, a burst of color can be enough to intrigue a prospect and get them to finally donate to your cause.

Don’t overlook the details that go into creating a fundraising envelope. If you want donors to open your direct mail-package, utilize these ten envelope test ideas to increase response. It’s worth thinking through the strategic approach and details of your outer envelope. A smartly-designed outer envelope can increase response rate.

Write Choice Marketing—Helping nonprofits maximize donations through compelling copy and donor responsive strategies.

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