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Pitney Bowes recently commissioned a study to identify factors that could influence when and whether recipients would open their direct mail marketing piece and read it. The survey of 1,500 U.S. adults, conducted by Leflein Associates, examined preferences, attitudes, and behaviors about mail as received at home.
Overall, the consumers surveyed showed a strong preference for physical direct mail, with 66% of respondents saying they prefer to receive catalogs by physical mail, 61% preferring to receive bills and invoices by physical mail, and 59% preferring to receive financial/bank statements by physical mail.
To determine what might influence open rates, participants examined an average of 16 screens, each containing four randomized envelope images, to test for variables including the presence of text, graphics, and color on envelope fronts and backs.
Color Reigns Supreme
What’s printed on the front of the envelope strongly influences when and whether it gets opened.
And, recipients are 69% more likely to open a mail piece with color text and graphics on the front, before opening pieces with no headline or graphic. Given a choice of color graphics or black-and-white text, mail recipients are 2.5 times more likely to open envelopes with color graphics first.
What’s printed on the back of the envelope is less influential. Six out of 10 (57%) hardly ever notice what is printed on the back of an envelope when sorting through or opening their mail. However, as with the front of the envelope, the study indicates the presence of color text and graphics on the envelope’s back is significantly more likely to influence the decision to open, rather than black-and-white only.
The bottom line is 1) based on consumers’ preference you should absolutely invest in printed mail communication; 2) you should absolutely NOT leave the envelope blank; and 3) text and graphics should DEFINITELY be in color.
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