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Pushing the Envelope Beyond Ordinary

New Years Ruminations & Some Good News for Mailers

Posted by Jerry Velona on Jan 24, 2017 10:05:23 AM

First of all, Happy New Year to all those who follow and read my blog. I wish everyone the best for success and happiness in 2017.  Despite the fact that I write this in a cold weather climate (Boston) and the days are short, there’s always a certain positive energy associated with a new year at least to me. It’s a clean slate; time to refresh the screen and figure out what’s possible.  Of course the figuring-out part is a lot easier than the executing part.  I think that’s where a lot of people get stuck in the mud. Oh well, it’s always worth a try! 

I always wonder how far into January you go before you stop wishing people happy new year. I write this on January 22nd. This will definitely be the last week where I’m extending those wishes.  Don’t ask me why. It just seems about the right time to end it.

Of course before we know it, everyone will be saying, “I can’t believe it’s March/April/May already”.  So the moral is, make the most of 2017 because it will be over before you realize what happened.

One last thing on New Year’s and good intentions; one of the hardy perennial new year’s resolutions is to be more organized. With the amount of raw data most of us are bombarded with each day, I think it’s more important than ever to be able to sort through the never-ending amount of digital messages we receive and still have time to be productive.  My friend Lorena Prime has a very successful company called “Clearly Organized”.  Her website has lots of useful information and Lorena does seminars and consulting for business and individuals.  Lorena’s great and I encourage anyone who has that problem or runs a business where it’s a problem with staff to contact her.

So, as we know everything in life involves trade-offs. The information overload and fatigue it can cause is one side of the coin. The other side is how much great information is out there literally at our fingertips which can help us and save us time and money. 

I happened to come across a great article by Adam Lewenberg of Postal Advocate in Wayland, MA.  Adam writes for Mailing Systems Technology magazine and has analyzed and broken down the new postal rates that have taken effect on January 22nd, 2017. 

Overall, the rate increases are minor and they contain some good news for direct mailers and direct marketers as well as those that supply direct mail printing and printed envelopes for direct mail. 

Perhaps the biggest and best news is that automated (pre-sorted) mail will have a single, flat rate from 1 ounce up to 3.5 ounces.  This will enable marketers to put a lot more in the envelope for the same price.

Adam’s article has a whole bunch of useful information about the new rates along with some tips on how to save money on your next campaign.  Kudos to him for laying this out in such a clear and concise fashion.

So again,  Happy New Year (for the last time in 2017) and may all your direct mail campaigns be smooth and effective!

Topics: direct mail, elite envelope, post office, direct mail printing, printed envelopes

The 2 Most Common Envelope Printing Mistakes

Posted by Jerry Velona on May 23, 2016 2:02:33 PM

You might be thinking, “Printing is printing”, right?  Well, yes and no.  Printing processes are pretty much the same regardless of the material.  You’re laying ink (or toner) on top of paper, cardboard, cloth, plastic or many other possible substrates. 

 However, as you can imagine, printing a T-shirt is quite a bit different than, say, printing a paper label.

In the world of printing, envelopes can present some unique challenges requiring some forethought and a bit of knowledge about how the process works in order to achieve the best result.

 So, here are some of the most common errors. Try to avoid them if you can!

1.)    Selecting or Assuming the Wrong Printing Process - As I’ve laid out in previous posts (see here and here) there are a number of different ways to print an envelope. Each method has its own unique characteristics as well as limitations.  Factors such as the size of the envelope, the amount of colors and ink coverage and the quantity will tend to dictate the best process be it offset, litho, digital or flexo.  For a complete explanation of each of those processes, click on either or both of the links at the beginning of this paragraph.

Two examples of how the wrong envelope printing process can lead to bad results are the heavy, dark ink solid and printing up to the window.  On the former, some envelopes will feature a large area of solid dark ink. Maybe some copy is knocked out of the box, maybe not.  If this type of a design is being printed on a stock envelope, it will most likely cause smudging on the back of the adjacent envelope. This happens as the envelopes come off the press onto the moving belt before they are put in the box. The heavily printed part can actually rub off a bit onto the back of the next envelope. The technical term for this is “offsetting”.  An envelope like this either needs to have the solid portion cut back or lightened with a screen effect.  If the heavy solid needs to stay, then the envelope will likely have to be printed on flat sheets and converted after the fact. This will add considerable cost to the job.

Printing right up to the window cut-out can only work if the job is converted after printing.  If you want to print that design on a stock envelope, you have to leave a white border of at least 1/8” all around the window in order to account for print variation and to avoid ink on the window.


2.)    Improper Design – Envelopes can be printed in a myriad of different ways with lots of color and coverage. However, sometimes the design that looks great on a computer screen will not be the most practical.  One of the most common examples of this is the flap that is covered with ink right up to where it folds. That looks really sharp and it can definitely be done but there is a caveat. This type of design can only be accomplished by printing on a flat sheet and then converting into an envelope.  The converting process includes some inevitable variation. This means that the ink on the flap will only hit the fold exactly about 20% of the time at the most. The rest of the envelopes will either show some white on the front or the ink will wrap over a bit to the back.  That inconsistency is generally not anticipated by the customer.  At Elite, we will always warn a customer about this in advance but that’s not always the case with other companies.  The best way to avoid this is to design the ink coverage on the envelope flap to wrap around to the front of the envelope by ¼”.  You’ll show some ink on the front but at least it will be consistent although still with a little variation. 

Another common example of an impractical design is when heavy ink solids are placed on top of where the envelope folds or where the flap sits.  Envelope presses rely on the pressure of rubber rollers to impart the ink and image.  Because of the numerous folds in the back of an envelope, there is a slightly uneven surface on which to print.  Placing a heavy coverage of ink, especially a dark color like blue directly over these uneven areas can result in small white lines through the printing. These are what’s known as “seam marks”.  Moving that portion of the graphic image to another spot on the envelope or, as in #1 above, lightening the image with a screen effect can usually solve the problem.

In all cases, your best approach would be to deal with a company that specializes in envelopes who would be able to advise you on the best way to print your particular job.  


Topics: envelope printing, jet printing, printed envelopes

Envelopes for Packaging – A Sweet Idea

Posted by Jerry Velona on Jun 19, 2014 11:05:00 AM

envelopes for packaging is a sweet idea


I had an interesting conversation with a successful entrepreneur a few weeks ago.  She is one of the principals for a company that produces very high quality and very delicious square-shaped chocolate bars.  (By the way, the frowning (smirking?) candy bar above is not the product in question. The ones to which I'm referring are of a much happier variety!)

Her idea was to have us create a small, square envelope for the outside packaging on her candy bar. The bar would have a folded foil wrap directly covering it and then would be inserted into an envelope and sealed.  It would be a white envelope printed in four color process on the outside to create the required design along with ingredient information and the required nutrition breakdown. 

I told her I thought this was a great idea and not just because she had selected us to do the job. I can’t think of any food products that use envelopes for outside packaging but certainly there must be some that could. You need something fairly flat and dense.  Candy bars are an obvious example although like all good ideas, it seems obvious only after someone comes up with it.

The thing about envelopes is they have certain characteristics that convey things like timelessness, sturdiness and consistency, not to mention reliability. After all, the motto of the United States Postal Service is “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”  According to Wikipedia, that phrase was a translation from the Greek historian Herodotus describing the ancient Persian system of mail carriers circa 500 BC.  You can’t fake that kind of historical lineage.

I realize of course that we live in an age when the 1980s is seen as ancient history but there are certain products which have deep cultural roots that resonate. Envelopes are certainly in that category. Cars also need to be included in that list. It can’t hurt for a product to have a tie-in to a simpler, perhaps less-complicated time. Nostalgia may often be an overly sentimental longing for a past that never actually existed.  But the feeling is undeniable and it starts to hit everyone who’s well into his twenties and beyond.

Now, I’m an envelope manufacturing guy and I have my biases but I can’t help think that printed envelopes, with all the possible options of paper and design, are an excellent choice for packaging the right product at the retail level.  We’re here if anybody out there wants to talk about it!

Topics: envelope manufacturer, printed envelopes, envelopes for packaging, custom envelopes

Holiday Print and Envelope Wishlist

Posted by Jerry Velona on Dec 21, 2012 9:17:00 AM

Letter to Santa Elite Envelope

Well, 2012 is almost behind us:  another year of challenges and ups and downs but hopefully more than your share of success.  The printing and envelope industries continue to either decline or evolve depending on your outlook. I prefer the latter. While there’s no question that far fewer envelopes are being mailed today as opposed to ten years ago, direct mail has remained a vibrant and attractive tool to marketers.  New digital technologies have made personalized mail affordable.  Improved four color envelope printing equipment and technology has moved process printing firmly into the mainstream.

As I write this we are facing the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar.  My 13-year-old daughter wanted to sleep over a friend’s house to mark the occasion which was fine with me. I could use some peace and quiet before the end of time. So who knows if you’ll even be around to read this?  Just in case, here are some of my fervent hopes and wishes for 2013.

  • I wish that companies in our industry and in general would be less timid about wishing customers “Merry Christmas”.  I understand that businesses tend to be risk averse and generally will take the path of least resistance. But Christmas Day has been a national holiday since 1870 and has a healthy and ubiquitous secular side.  I know there are some that take offense at being wished Merry Christmas but they are a tiny fringe and do we really want to consider their tender feelings above the vast majority who, regardless of their religion, enjoy and celebrate the Christmas Holiday?   How about “Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays”?

  • Along the same lines, I hope that printers and envelope companies will be less accommodating to the “green” agenda which ultimately does not have our best interests in mind. I’ve written in more specific detail about this issue in previous posts.  We should all take responsibility in our personal and professional lives to use resources wisely and consider the environment. But the greens think paper consumption is bad and that’s not right.

  • To add to #2, I wish that companies in our industry would stop claiming that their products are produced with “certified wind power” when all they are doing is buying Renewable Energy Credits.  If you have a wind turbine in your parking lot or solar panels on your roof then you are entitled to make this claim.  If not, it’s misleading and more kowtowing to environmental purists who are, for the most part, not our friends.

  • I wish more customers would go back to using formal purchase orders. E mail has certainly made us more productive but getting unspecific messages to proceed on an order via e mail requires us vendors to confirm everything in writing which is really what the customer is supposed to do through a detailed and precise purchase order.  Plus, sometimes you have two or three separate trails going on the same order which requires printing out voluminous correspondence for the job ticket. (I wonder if any of these e-mail orderers have that “don’t print this e mail unless it’s absolutely necessary” message after their signature?)

  • I wish more people would stop responding “your” welcome when I say thank you for doing something for me.

  • I wish our political class would allow Postmaster General Donahoe to implement most of the reforms he’s been recommending for the past several years. The Post Office is a mess. It’s losing money at a terrifying rate and needs to be significantly downsized and reformed or face collapse. What really needs to be done is to break the monopoly and privatize the delivery of first class mail as we have with parcels with great success.  What will most likely happen is dithering followed by another taxpayer-financed bailout.

Despite the many problems we face as an industry, we can be thankful for the chance we have to persevere and dream. We can also give thanks for our friends, family and loved ones; without whom our lives would be diminished. Lastly, to everyone in the printing and envelope world: Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and may we all flourish and prosper in 2013!


Topics: envelope printing, postal monopoly, post office problems, envelope industry, four color envelope printing, going green, envelopes and post office, printed envelopes

Envelope Printing – Choosing the Best Method

Posted by Jerry Velona on Sep 17, 2012 12:37:00 PM

Printed Envelopes

In last week’s blog post, I listed the various ways envelopes can be printed: offset, flexo, flat sheet litho and digital.  Those are listed in descending order from the most popular methods through the least popular, at least in my experience.

But the question remains: how does one choose the best method for printing an envelope?  You could just send a quote to your favorite envelope company or printer and ask them to provide a price. That may get you what you need but it also might get you a price on whatever works best for that particular company and not necessarily what is the best and most economical way for that particular job.

No, it’s always best for a buyer to be knowledgeable on his own in order to get the best quality and price. That applies to anything you purchase really.

In my previous post I mentioned the three factors to be considered when deciding how to print your envelope: quantity, quality and print coverage.  In thinking about this, I tried to come up with a simple formula for your use.  Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy because multiple factors need to be considered for just about any envelope print job.  So here’s my best shot on the basics for you to consider using those three criteria:

1. Coverage:  If the envelope prints with full coverage front and back or full coverage on one side with bleeds all around, the three print options you have would be enhanced flexo, flat sheet litho or flat sheet digital with converting after the fact.  (Most envelopes that print with this type of coverage tend to be 4 color process. If the piece prints in spot colors, then digital would not be an option unless the artwork could be converted to CMYK.)  The enhanced flexo process is done inline on a web machine. Diagonal seam envelopes cannot be done this way because of the web process.

If the envelope has light to medium ink coverage, then Jet offset (printing on a pre-made envelope) is the best option for quantities up to around 250,000. At higher quantities, regular flexo might be a more cost-effective option depending on the quality of the printing required.  Half tones, fine screens and fine lines and close registration generally require offset printing.  However, something like a simple BRE or line copy could be printed flexo with good results.

2. Quantity:  Small quantities up to around 2,000 are where digital printing on a pre-made envelope can be cost-effective. However, as I mentioned, most digital presses can only print process colors. So anything with spot colors needs to be printed in one of the remaining three processes. Strictly from a price standpoint, offset would be the least expensive on quantities up to 250,000. However, the best option would also have to consider the amount of coverage and the quality required.

Some companies, like Elite Envelope, feature very competitive Jet offset pricing at quantities well into the millions. For this reason, the offset/flexo decision can also depend on the company you are dealing with.

3. Quality:  I’ve mostly covered the quality considerations that need to be taken into account except to say that even if an envelope can be printed flexo, you will get superior quality by printing it offset. So if you can make the pricing work, you’re better off going that route simply for best print results. 

Of the four printing options for envelopes, the best quality would be flat sheet litho for the simple reason that those presses are larger and built to produce high-quality fine printing on pieces where the expectations exceed what is commonly required for an envelope.  However, that is generally going to be the most expensive way to go so that must be taken into account as well.

Lastly, one of the comments from last week’s blog concerned bleeds on envelopes. Bleeds can be printed on Jet offset presses in certain cases. The best results are where the coverage is light or involves a screen that bleeds. However, we have printed many envelopes with fairly dense coverage on the jet that happen to bleed. There can be some occasional ink build-up on the edge which needs to be monitored but overall a good pressman can make it work quite well. 

I hope I’ve clarified some of the envelope printing decisions you might need to make. If you’re still unsure, just send me a pdf of your artwork and I’ll be happy to provide a suggestion of your best way to go.


Topics: elite envelope, elite envelope, envelopes and printing, printing and envelopes, envelope printing, jet printing, flexographic envelope printing, envelope printing options, envelope offset printing, printed envelopes, how envelopes are printed

What an Envelope Says

Posted by Jerry Velona on Jul 23, 2012 12:20:00 PM


In 1964 when Marshall McLuhan wrote the famous phrase, “The medium is the message”, he was suggesting that the carrier of the message could actually convey a message of its own.  He was mostly writing about television and how that technology was changing the culture by bringing more people into a common area in which to view and digest information.

McLuhan would have a field-day writing about the Internet which has taken this concept and run wild.  By some estimates, over three-quarters of American households own computers. If you add mobile computing devices, I’m sure that figure is much higher. Today, just about everyone is wired and accessing digital content of some type.

However, unlike television in the 1960’s which featured a small number of programming options and news filters, the worldwide web has millions of sites and information sources from which to choose.  The number of options, while helpful in many instances, can be overwhelming. When a device, in this case the human brain, becomes overwhelmed it usually shuts down.  Add to this the large number of e mail and text messages that are received and sent in a given day and you have a prescription for information overload. 

Basic economics teaches us that when a commodity becomes plentiful, the price and hence the value diminishes unless the demand continues to outpace the supply. If we view information as the commodity, I believe what we are seeing in large sectors of American society is the cheapening of communication.  There’s so much of it that the individual messages are getting lost or simply disregarded.

So what does all this have to do with envelopes?  Well as digital communication becomes ubiquitous and less valuable it follows that written communication, the kind that comes inside envelopes in your non-virtual mailbox looks better by comparison. It hasn’t been very long since there were regular outcries from individuals and groups about being inundated with “junk mail”.  Interesting that you don’t hear much about that anymore!  Most of the crying is done about spam and spammers (justifiably in my opinion –it can be highly annoying as anyone who’s been plagued in this way will attest).

I’ve written about how sending hand-written notes to people in a business context can really get their attention these days.  Personalized direct mail can serve as a reasonable surrogate to that approach. When the content is relevant and interesting along with high-quality printing and clever design there will be a reasonable curiosity that will cause many folks to open and take a gander.  

And yes, I meant “open” as in take it out of the envelope. Sure I’m biased but I think that postcards or other non-envelope flats don’t carry the same air of anticipation. You really don’t know what’s inside the envelope till you open it and there’s something in all of us that likes a surprise.  Just taking the extra time, care and expense to put something in an envelope says something positive about your mailing which the recipient will intuitively understand; another example of the McLuhan insight where the medium becomes part of the message. 

Mail on!

Topics: direct mail, write a letter, envelopes, envelopes and printing, printed envelopes

Envelope Printing – is my design OK?

Posted by Jerry Velona on Mar 12, 2012 10:56:00 AM

Graphic designers are the muse behind printers. They provide and execute the creative ideas which the printer then takes and brings to life on paper.  In the new age of printing, designers must not only be creative but also adept at using the vector-based software and other digital tools necessary to provide a quality, print-ready image.

At Elite Envelope, we work with graphic designers all the time. Usually the designer will work for the customer to come up with the image they want and after the customer places the order, he will allow us to deal directly with the creative talent.  Most times, we receive art files that are ready to go.  However, sometimes that is not the case. The reasons can vary but the one I’ll focus on today has to do with practicalities.

Yes, I know that taking the practical approach is sometimes seen as the bane of the creative process. It involves all sorts of compromises and replaces the emphasis from the exciting “what is possible” to that ever more bland and boring “what is doable.”  How many times did our parents tell us to “be practical”; advice we probably ignored to our eventual peril. And that’s the point – ultimately being practical is going to succeed far more than not. And while we love to read about those that figure out a way to get beyond all that, they are few in number so emulating them is just not, well…, practical!

envelope printing design problems

One of the more common examples of this in the world of envelope printing has to do with heavy coverage that prints over the envelope seams or folds.  When paper is folded, that area is relatively higher to what is on either side.  Offset printing on envelopes is done with rollers that exert pressure on the printed surface.  If the press is printing a solid which covers a fold, the result will be a white mark running directly down the fold itself. This is because of the different height of the folded area.  

This is a pretty easy one to prevent by doing one of several things: You could simply move or shrink the solid so that it doesn’t cover the fold. Or you could use a screen of the color to make the solid lighter so that the white line would be less pronounced.  Depending on the design and size of the mail piece, it may also be possible to switch from a diagonal seam envelope to a side seam which would provide a larger unfolded area for printing.  You could also simply re-design or, if cost is not a major factor, print the envelope on a flat sheet and convert it after the fact which effectively elminates the problem altogether. 

Ultimately, the process works best when the envelope printer is in touch with the graphic designer early in the process.  That ensures a harmony between what can be done and what works best – beautiful music for all concerned! 

Tell us about your envelope printing problems. We'd love to hear from you. Also, if you’re looking for free, expert advice on a future design, click here and we’ll be happy to provide it.

Topics: elite envelope, envelope printing, envelope printing mistakes, printed envelopes, graphic design problems for envelopes

Rush Deliveries – bane or boon?

Posted by Jerry Velona on Feb 13, 2012 10:49:00 AM

According to Wikipedia (the ship that helped launch a thousand blogs) the first recorded mention of the Latin phrase tempus fugit was from the Roman poet Virgil who wrote: Sed fugit interea fugit irreparabile tempus, singula dum capti circumvectamur amore, which means, "But meanwhile it flees: time flees irretrievably, while we wander around, prisoners of our love of detail." We generally use the phrase to mean “time flies”; one of the most common expressions in American English and certainly one of the most apt in these times.

The printing business, including of course the envelope printing business has changed a lot over the past 20 years.  When I started in envelope sales in 1988, my company was still making rubber plates for flexo printing. All offset printing had to start with film which was cut and “stripped” to a “flat” that was then used to burn the image onto the printing plate.  The phrase “camera-ready art” was still widely in use. Today when you hear someone say that, to put it charitably it indicates they’ve been in the industry for a while.

While the pace of technology-driven change in printing is probably not as great as in many other fields, it has had the effect of accelerating the production process. Increased productivity has been a good thing; allowing us to produce more in less time and thus stay competitive and viable. However it’s also increased the customer expectations for quick turnaround on most jobs. Another indication of someone who’s been in the industry a long time is when they mention the fact that getting two or three weeks to deliver a print order used to be fairly commonplace.  Ah yes, the “good old days”!

With so much of the commercial landscape catering to the customer’s demand for instant gratification, there’s no way for printers and envelope manufacturers to escape. In order to survive, we must be able to pivot quickly and adapt to this reality. There’s something to be said for the notion that a quality product takes time to produce. That’s still true as far as it goes. It’s also true however that you’d better be able to make that quality product in as little time as possible in order to win the order.

The advent of digital technology has allowed printers to produce reasonably high quality process printing in a shorter time frame by eliminating the lengthy pre-press process. In the world of envelope printing, where the vast majority of the jobs are still printed either flexo or offset, this is not as easy. At Elite Envelope, we have analyzed each step of the manufacturing and printing processes in order to make them as efficient as possible. We also make full use of direct-to-plate set up which has saved us lots of time on the front end.

Ultimately, instead of grousing about it, we need to embrace this trend in our industry and take it as a challenge and impetus to work a little smarter and be more productive. In order for the printing and envelope industry to survive, there is no other way.   Don’t allow your company to become a “prisoner of the love of detail”. Virgil would approve!

By the way; sometimes rush deliveries can be a little too rushed as the picture below shows! Insuring your packages can't hurt I suppose.

rush delivery gone bad resized 600

Topics: elite envelope, printing and envelopes, envelope manufacturer, printed envelopes, Rush deliveries, rush envelope orders

What they learned at the envelope plant tour

Posted by Jerry Velona on Jan 17, 2012 10:49:00 AM

Elite Envelope manufacturing plant

As an envelope converter and manufacturer, Elite Envelope holds a relatively unique place in the printing world. We are the only envelope converter in greater Boston and one of only six in all of New England.

One of our favorite things to do is invite customers and prospective customers to visit us for a plant tour. Many envelope buyers have never actually seen an envelope being made and it’s always an eye-opening experience.  There’s always at least one comment about the fact that they didn’t realize so much went into the making of a simple envelope.

We start by showing the paper cutting processes. We show how reams of paper are precisely die-cut either by hand for smaller jobs or, for larger jobs, on our computerized PHP cutter.  Showing the cookie-cutter-style die going through the paper lift demonstrates how variation can occur in the cutting process better than any explanation. You can actually see the paper bend just slightly as it’s cut.  Customers can actually see how certain designs are more practical than others given the limitations inherent in the process.

After a short stop at the latex self seal and peel and seal equipment, we move on to the folding machines which are the heart of the envelope converting process.  We show how the die cut “blanks” are fed into the machine at one end and come out the other end a scored, glued and folded envelope.  Customers see the seal gum applied as the first process and how once the gum is applied, the blank travels the entire length of the machine over hot lamps designed to set the proper dryness of the gum.

We show how the panel cutter die punches out the window area which is then covered over by the poly patch.  The tour guide points out how the window must be at least 3/8” from the edge of the envelope in order to allow for the patch and the glue necessary to keep it tight.  We show how the machine ensures an exact count coming off and how our adjustors/mechanics  continually make the fine adjustments necessary to keep the envelopes perfectly square and to the specifications required by even the most demanding customer in all aspects.

Finally, the tour reaches the printing department where our 2 color and 4 color jets are on display with all the various printing capabilities they provide.  Customers and prospects are generally very impressed by the quality of our four color envelope printing.

So, if you’re buying envelopes I encourage you to contact your envelope vendor for a tour of the plant. Make sure they actually make the envelopes though; not all envelope companies do.  There are many advantages in dealing directly with the manufacturer; not the least of which is you can go on a nifty tour and maybe even get lunch afterwards! 

Topics: elite envelope, elite envelope, envelope manufacturing, jet printing, envelope manufacturer, envelope converting, four color envelope printing, envelope die cutting, envelope converting process, envelope blank, printed envelopes

Direct Mail and E Mail – The Odd Couple

Posted by Jerry Velona on Oct 17, 2011 12:11:00 PM

The untimely death of Steve Jobs brought forth much in the press and the blogosphere about his life and many accomplishments as well as his early failures.  Jobs had a strong, some might say stubborn vision of the type of products he thought would serve as vehicles for communication, entertainment, work and pretty much anything one can imagine.  He believed in the power of design as well as function and this help create the Apple “brand” which has made the company a colossus.   

Jobs proved that as much as people want the speed and convenience of the digital world, they are at the same time drawn to aesthetics. Given the choice between the dry and functional and the interesting and functional, the latter will win more often than not.

Therein lies a lesson for direct marketers.  Obviously, there is no longer a contest between the digital world and the world of paper and ink. Digital is here to stay and those of us in the envelope and print world need to adjust.   Most of us already have by using our websites to promote our companies and sell our products and services.  We also use e mail to communicate with our prospects and customers and to transmit files and proofs.  There’s no question that these methods increase our productivity and our reach the same as for any other business.

Yet when we turn on our computers each day and try to negotiate through the barrage of messages we receive in our in boxes, we realize that the speed and immediacy of e mail can be an annoyance and hence a detriment to a proper sales pitch.  That isn’t to say that e mail marketing has no place.  Properly used, it can be an important part of a marketing program. I find it most useful in keeping in touch with people that you’ve already contacted and have some interest in your products.

 Elite Envelope makes direct mail work

But for developing prospects, nothing beats a direct mail piece that someone can actually hold and read. It makes an impression that goes beyond just another e mail to delete. Yes, I understand that “junk mail” can be an annoyance to some folks. However, these days’ people get far less regular mail than e mail so there’s probably a greater chance of it being opened than in the past.   Also, Elite Envelope produces some really beautifully designed and printed envelopes that our customers send us which can’t help but get at least a passing glance.

So, channel your inner Steve Jobs; use your creativity and design an arresting direct mail package that comes in a colorfully printed envelope. When you send that follow up e mail, I bet your prospect will remember!

Topics: direct mail, elite envelope, e mail and direct mail, e mail, printing and envelopes, printed envelopes

Yet Another Blog Post

From Jerry Velona - co-owner,

Elite Envelope & Graphics, Inc.

Jerry offers pertinent, often useful information on envelope converting and printing, web printing, direct mail, the post office, songs that have to do with mail and letters, digital overload and much more!

(Non-spam) Comments always appreciated.  Spread it around!


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