Have you ever had an employee of a business you were patronizing go out of their way for you unexpectedly? Perhaps they pulled out your chair before you sat down in a restaurant. Maybe they offered to carry your bag to the car for you after you bought some heavy goods. They could have even offered you free shipping on your online order after you inquired why your product was taking so long to leave the warehouse.
Moments like these stir a poignant reaction in customers, who tend to remember the gesture far more vividly than any other type of quality experience. Businesses who deliberately attempt this tactic call it “surprise and delight,” and they tout how it leads to instant brand loyalty once an employee strikes an emotional chord.
You may think that direct mail would be an impossible venue to achieve a “surprise and delight” effect, but there are subtle ways to elicit a smile or touch the heart of the recipient. One of the most effective methods is to place a heartfelt or sincere message where they least expect it: underneath the flap.
Why the Flap Is the Perfect Place to Tuck Away a Message
Over the years, direct mail has transformed from one of the most personal means of correspondence possible to a completely impersonal and often time inhuman-seeming way of communicating. Some mail campaigns feel as if they were created by robots:
“GREETINGS, HUMAN. OPEN ENVELOPE TO DECREASE THE AMOUNT OF CURRENCY UNITS REQUIRED TO PURCHASE FABRIC COVERINGS FOR YOUR BODY.”
While this is clearly an exaggeration, the lack of connection between mailer and recipient is painfully obvious. Even when the recipient musters up enough interest to actually open the letter, they may find something expected or mundane that gets promptly placed inside the recycling bin.
Printing text on the inside of the envelope disrupts this process. Suddenly, your audience must reconsider how the whole “opening mail” procedure works. This moment of hesitation can reboot the recipient’s assumptions. By defying their expectations, they may give your message another chance.
What Will Your Envelope Flap Say?
There are many opportunities afforded by this creative touch, all with varying motives and approaches. One of the easiest methods is to try and get a laugh. Writing something like “Thank you for opening me! It was getting stuffy in there!” or “The message is down there, silly!” are fun gags that warm the recipient up to your message and help add personality to your brand.
Even a professional tagline from your advertising department can help forge a new connection. By seeing the tagline in an unexpected place, the recipient can reassess what the words mean from a new perspective.
Another method is to use a heartfelt message like “We know that every penny counts, so here is an offer to help you save for the things you need” makes the recipient feel as if the mailer “gets” them in ways most brands cannot.
Consider how you would use this oft-neglected piece of envelope real estate, and then head over to our products page to start the customization process. Your audience will appreciate that you took the time to do something different.