Choosing Your envelope for a Direct Mail Campaign

Making sure your Direct Mail campaign is opened should be at the top of your priorities list. And choosing your envelope can be difficult.

Here is our easy guide to choosing your envelope or envelope type for your campaign

Keep reading to look at the 3 biggest factors that you must consider when choosing the right envelope for your Direct Mail Campaign:

The Size

According to a recent study, most homeowners are likely to open a colourful oversized envelope as opposed to one that simply blends in with the rest of the items you receive. On the other hand, if you were sending out a direct mail camping to business professionals, a large pink envelope may not create the right impression, but you never know!
Within the UK there are four main envelope sizes:

C6 Envelopes:
By far the smallest of the main four, it is designed to hold an A4 sheet of paper folded into equal quarters. Great for sending out promotional leaflets, or vouchers… the saying “good things come in small packages” can often ring true in Direct Mail.

C4 Envelopes:
From the smallest to the largest of the main four – the C4 envelope is perfect for grabbing someone’s attention. Likely to be the largest item that lands on your doormat, the chances are you’re going to open it. From a business point of view, adding colour to a large envelope will double the likelihood of your mailer being opened.

C5 Envelopes:
Without a doubt the most common of all the envelopes, they’re perfectly designed for sending folded A4 letters. Their full potential is regularly exploited with a considerable number of blank white envelopes being sent out, so it makes sense to mix things up a bit and add a touch of colour.

DL Envelopes:
Not the smallest envelope, but possibly the most unique. It’s size and shape differs from the before mentioned which is why it’s capable of standing out in its own unique way.

The Colour

Admittedly, any colour other than white is guaranteed to make your envelope stand out but with the onset of overprinting onto envelopes, we now have the capability to print any design or photo on your envelope to appeal directly to your customers with a great first impression!

Using your company colours is a safe bet, as it will create a sense of consistency throughout your campaign. However, for those of you who want to really stand out, why not choose a colour that provokes an emotion? For example:

Red is often used to convey danger, love, warmth and passion. Regularly used to promote an upcoming sale as it triggers an “act now” response in the brain.

Purple is regularly associated with royalty and as a result is used to promote high quality, luxurious products. By adding purple to your envelopes, you’re sure to add a touch of ‘prestige’ to the mailing

Pink has, and always will be associated with feminine products; it also emulates the feeling of care. This is why you often see charities using it, as well as spa’s, to invoke a calming atmosphere.

Brown is a very natural and earthy, which is why many organic brands use it.

Green is also a very natural colour but also suggests health and freshness. Often used by organic food companies to promote the fact they are environmentally friendly.

Yellow is the colour of sunshine, brightening people’s day. It is in fact proven to increase sales, as people feel at ease interacting with the colour.

Orange can, in fact, stimulate appetite, which is why many fast food restaurants use it within their branding.

Blue is used by a lot of banks and corporate companies because of its trustworthy qualities. It also says a lot about cleanliness and coolness.


Overprinting is another great way to print an image or a logo on to an envelope. It is a great way to add extra marketing oomph to your direct mail campaign and is very cost effective too!

Envelope’s do not have be boring by design or colour! Make a great first impression with your end client.

The Seal

Without a doubt, the only type of seal you should consider for a large mailing campaign is gummed.

The reason being that a mailing house can run your job at high speeds through an automated enclosing machine at cost effective rates.

An alternative to the gummed flap is peel-and-seal; it provides a slightly stronger seal enabling it to carry extra weight. Henceforth, it is perfect for jobs below 100 items that require 3-4 bulky inserts. Similarly, a self-seal flap, which uses two layers of latex to form a seal, is capable of much of the same, yet is often used for slightly larger mailings up to 500 items. Once the numbers grow above 500, gummed envelopes should really be your only option.

Different customer groups will respond to certain types of an envelope in different ways. Of course, if you really want to stand out from the crowd, you could design some custom envelopes. Only by measuring the success of different types of envelopes can you ascertain what delivers the best results for your campaigns.

So, with this said, how will you go about your direct mail campaign? Call us on 0800 699 0501

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