10 tips for an envelope

10 tips for an envelope – you can use straight away

Fundraising is direct marketing. And in direct marketing, the envelope only has one purpose: to be opened. Here are 10 tips to get your envelope opened straight away.

1. Start with an envelope without a message

This gives excellent results, especially with existing donors. And the rule is: use a blank envelope, unless you can come up with something better to get the envelope opened.

2. Arouse curiosity

An envelope with text that arouses curiosity is asking to be opened. One that is renowned is this text for a psychological magazine:

“Do you close the bathroom door, even when you’re the only one home?”

Envelope Simavi HM3 – 5 March 2020

3. Only put a single message on your envelope

The sole purpose of your envelope is to get it opened. Don’t attempt to put your whole story on the envelope already. Instead challenge, ask a question, arouse curiosity, give a striking fact, use a strong quote.

4. Use both sides of the envelope

There is a 50% chance that your envelope will land face down on the doormat.

5. Show your premium

If you have a premium, show it on the envelope. Or use an extra window. This increases the chance of it being opened.

Envelope Simavi HM9 – 15 October 2020 – Premium: Christmas Cards

6. Send a premium that you can feel

The time-honoured bulge in the envelope. It still works just as well as ever.

Envelope Stichting Maryknoll zusters van St. Dominicus HM5 2020 – Premium: 3 cards and a pen

7. Keep changing

Don’t use the same type of envelope every time, but get noticed. Large, small, multiple windows, colours. Different paper. Different message.

Envelope Simavi HM3 – 5 March 2020

8. Are the results of your recruitment mailing declining?

In the first instance, change the envelope. A different colour alone can boost the response.

9. Use a three-dimensional mailing

A box will always be opened. But think about the shape (for example a tube), the letter must be easy to remove and remain legible.


10. Personalise your envelope

Mail that looks like it was sent by a real person is put on the reading pile, not on the ad pile. For example, use a handwriting font or a typewriter font, postage stamps. A closed envelope. It all helps make your mailing more personal.

Tips for more donations

Based on our 30 years of experience, we have written a practical guide for fundraisers: ’99 Tips for more Donations’. We explain clearly which techniques positively influence the response.

Download our 99 tips and read more about:

99 tips for more donations

  • Tips for a successful newsletter
  • Tips for creating a good story
  • Tips for testing your fundraising program
  • Tips for an envelope

And much more…

99 tips for more donations

This book is a practical guide for all fundraisers. Download the book and apply the tips today!

Download the book

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get fresh insights to help your charity grow.

More fundraising tips

Easy but effective ways to improve your fundraising