FYI Blog

Best Practices: The Plain Truth

white envelope

I know flashy carriers look good. But before you go investing in developing some impressive—and expensive—artwork for your next campaign’s carrier, have you tested a plain white carrier recently?

Now before you accuse me of being boring, hear me out.

We’ve repeatedly tested this hypothesis—across all nonprofit sectors and with different types of mailings—and the results were consistent: a white carrier almost always wins out over a more expensive color envelope. For example:

          • We ran the test for a national political advocacy’s acquisition program, printing a full-bleed, four-color envelope vs. a white carrier. Both carried the same compelling teaser: Special Discount and Free Gift Inside. White won handily, with an 18% higher response rate, a 13% higher average gift, and the expected 9% in cost savings.
          • We tested envelopes in a national preservation organization’s appeal program—mailing an electric blue carrier against the simple white one, with excellent results: the white version provided a 26% lift in response rate with 7% in cost savings.
          • For a national environmental group’s acquisition program, the response rate was almost 11% higher with a plain envelope, with a 7% higher average gift and almost 19% higher revenue per thousand.
          • And for another environmental/conservation group that Avalon just recently began working with, we suggested testing a white envelope in the organization’s 18-year-old annual prospecting control package, to see if that one tweak could boost results. It did. The white carrier beat out the longstanding four-color, full-bleed control envelope, with an 11% higher response rate, almost 29% higher net per thousand, and 16% in cost savings.

Avalon has tested the white carrier across sectors and types of mailings at a high confidence level, so be sure to add this test to your next campaign and hopefully you too will see a boost in response and cost savings!