The Winning Envelope Is?

Charity Envelope Review

From a sample of 50 ‘charity’ envelopes received in the last few months the following observations have been made. Christmas mailings and requests were excluded from the sample

  • Thirty envelopes were C4 that comply with the size and weight for the Post Office letter rate of 64p second class. (discounted rates may apply). Twenty other samples were DL sized that is the long, thinner envelope  about 30% smaller and also complies with the  letter postage rate.
  • 70% of the envelopes were personalised and delivered with the normal post. The remainder were via the post or casual drop shots.
  • Two were in see through plastic wrapping.
  • 5% were duplicates of the same envelope to the same address though not necessarily at the same time.
  • Only five envelopes were printed in a single colour of which two were the ‘cheaper’  manila envelopes.
  • Over half the envelopes were printed in 4 colour process printing and many had full coverage maximising the amount of ink consumed.
  • There were mixed messages about recycling and even the Woodland Trust failed to comment on the papers source or sustainability credentials.
  • Over 80% contained a reply envelope.

Winners in this Envelope Race

  • Envelope manufacturers are selling a top range product to charities and in many cases this will be at a top range price with a handsome margin! Special event envelopes bought near the posting date often attract a premium.
  • The Post Office and delivery services would not want to lose out on the volume of work offered by charities on these mailings.
  • The personalisation and fulfillment industry charge handsomely
  • Data management is not cheap even if handled internally within the charity. There is a cost at least for list maintenance, merging, purging and deduping and sanity checking against bereavement lists.

 Enhancement Future Performance

  • Reducing the unit cost of a mailing seems to be natural so why use predominantly large envelopes and thus contents.
  • With the majority of donations and responses now using the internet will there be any net loss by dropping the reply envelope.
  • Preplanning, test mailings, careful targeting and avoiding duplication are precursors to analysing the true achievement of the intended goals.
  • I have to admit that these envelopes are the ones I chose not to open at the time. Failing to get participation from the recipient  damages results and can tarnish the brand.

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