First Impressions

Making envelopes that get opened, by Clint Seckman.
November 6, 2022

For our clients, the envelope expresses who and what they are as a brand.

It is the initial opportunity to capture a consumer’s imagination, making it vital that the envelope represents their brand well. If designed and executed correctly, an envelope demands attention, gives messaging that stands out from the crowd, and creates a lasting impression with anyone who touches it.

Creating a physical touch point establishes a sense of ownership with people. And when crafted in the right way, the envelope will grab attention and start to build trust—thereby increasing the value of your brand. Unlike many other marketing channels, direct mail has the unique ability to tell consumers they are a priority.

Building a positive brand image takes time, thoughtfulness and effort. And it’s hard. In today’s world, it is so easy for consumers to get distracted by the non-stop influx of emails, videos and social media. Did you know that according to a study by the eyecare company Wantlens, 93.5% of adults spend more than two hours a day using a digital device on average, with 70.1% using them for more than five hours a day?

With statistics like these, it is no wonder that it's difficult to get your brand into the mix.

Clint Seckman is co-owner and President of Parkland Direct.
by Clint Seckman

"Making envelopes that get opened is what we do. If your organization’s response rate is not what it should be, allow us to use our creative, exclusive envelopes to help you successfully reach your direct mail goals."

Using an envelope with a creative approach and personal touch allows brands to stand above all the other noise. An eye-catching direct mail package with a unique presentation lets consumers know that they are more than just an alert on a device by giving them something that must be touched and physically opened, which is a marketing experience like no other.

According to an Epsilon/SmallBizGenius study, 59% of consumers say they enjoy getting mail from brands about new products, and 42.2% of people who receive direct mail read the messaging. Even in today’s fast-paced, never-ending thrust of technology, direct mail has risen to become a top-tier marketing channel.

At Parkland Direct, we are passionate about our craft—always looking ahead to find innovative ways for our clients to get the most out of their direct mail campaigns through dynamic, interactive envelopes. Founded in 1978 as a high-quality litho print and envelope manufacturer, we offer extensive experience in foiling, embossing and specialty coatings. We are now vertically integrated with the latest UV-litho printing technology, embellishments, and high-speed envelope converting equipment available.

With all production aspects under one roof, we can manufacture litho-envelopes on a large scale with a quick time-to-market. In today’s continually evolving landscape, having this one-of-a-kind manufacturing platform provides optimal workflow. And we do not outsource any production, which helps us improve delivery times and control quality.

We are tenacious about continually refining and improving our processes. This mindset has enabled us to implement embellishments to direct mail much more efficiently than ever before. Value-adding embellishments (e.g., foiling, embossing, specialty coatings, scent, fluorescent inks, etc.), which already are proven to work exceptionally well in packaging and labels, can now be adopted for envelopes in large-volume direct mail.

Consumers fixate on branded print with embellishments, such as foil, for 50% longer than print without embellishments, according to “The Impact of High-Visibility Enhancements on Shelf Presence: A Second Study,” conducted by the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics at Clemson University, in partnership with R. Andrew Hurley’s research program. This creates that vital “tipping point” to have a consumer open the envelope or not. And with no limits on embellishments to represent your brand, ours is a process unlike any other.

"Building a positive brand image takes time, thoughtfulness and effort. And it’s hard."

To build on this passion and show other creative minds what is possible with print and direct mail, we started a free monthly mailing campaign in the first quarter of 2020 to showcase a variety of the trendiest direct mail pieces.

Each month, our customers get a firsthand look at the latest and greatest envelope ideas, complete with attention-grabbing embellishments (embossing, foiling, specialty coatings, augmented reality and more)—all of which can be produced in large volume.

The campaign initially started as a counter to the restrictions of the pandemic, which limited our travel and in-house visits. It gave us a way to engage with our existing clients and present to prospective ones by connecting in a non-obtrusive way through direct mail. This campaign also enables us to educate and inspire potential customers on the capability of direct mail envelopes.

Parkland Direct envelope sample 001Parkland Direct envelope sample 002

Also, by designing and producing the envelopes for this campaign ourselves, we continually build on our knowledge, which allows us to share expert advice and guidance with our clients on the latest print and embellishments that best represent and highlight their brands.

Even as we continue to carve our path in the direct mail world, we remain respectful of the power of what digital marketing represents. Our approach moving forward continues to marry the two mediums—a boundless partnership in the world of brand representation.

Direct mail and digital marketing complement each other perfectly, with direct mail being a fantastic driver toward digital. In a recent Sappi study, "The Science of Touch," 87% of people were influenced to make an online purchase as a direct result of receiving mail. These are reasons why we combine both channels in our monthly mailing campaigns and encourage our clients to do the same.

While production capabilities are important, ultimately, it is the end product that matters. The envelope is how our clients’ brands are represented, which is why we make such a firm commitment to research, testing and the development of new technologies. Knowing what will work for large-volume direct mail while being both cost-effective and timely is critical.

Research enables our production team to push for higher outputs with fewer resources. Testing gives us the knowledge to share that information with our clients as to what works and what doesn’t in a large-scale production environment. And adopting new technologies allows us to offer a wider variety of creative features.

Making envelopes that get opened is what we do. If your organization’s response rate is not what it should be, allow us to use our creative, exclusive envelopes to help you successfully reach your direct mail goals. Parkland’s process is unlike any other, with no limits on embellishments to represent your brand. Dynamic and engaging envelopes are excellent for enhancing any brand’s marketing strategy and generating new business opportunities.

In a world of first impressions, we strive to make the most impactful envelopes to represent our clients’ brands. Our goal has always been to push the boundaries of what can be achieved with direct mail envelopes while still being fully producible in large volumes.

Clint Seckman is co-owner and President of Parkland Direct, a G7 Master Printer that specializes in large volume production of high quality, litho-printed envelopes. By eliminating much of the inefficiencies associated within the industry, Parkland Direct has developed the fastest and most efficient manufacturing process for envelopes. As a result, they offer quick turns for direct mail envelopes including: enhancements such as foiling, embossing, and specialty coatings.