In direct mail advertising we talk often about the envelope barrier and there are many things you can do to prevent the letter-opening barrier from hurting your chances of your potential customer from seeing your brochure, flyer or advertising piece that you have sent out via US Mail.
Now then, as a hands on type franchisor; I personally over saw the marketing of 110 markets, 450 cities in 23-states and four countries. And while direct mail marketing was not our primary method of reaching potential clients and our target market customers, it was indeed one way.
We did therefore use it to a limited degree when opening up new territories and franchise outlets for my company; Car Wash Guys.com, and we did have much success with it. One thing we learned early on is that when account executives for direct mailing companies talk about the letter-opening barrier they are right.
In fact over the years we started hand-addressing envelopes and even had hand addressing pizza parties with our Bonzai and Blitz Marketing Teams. If you have a retail store have your employees do this when they are not busy.
There are many strategies you can use including changing the color, shape and size of the envelop, putting on real stamps and avoid metered mail. The direct mail envelope barrier is real and you can increase sales by 1-2% if you will consider these simple concepts. Please think on this in 2006.