Direct marketing firm Antares Information Technologies Inc., in partnership with the U.S. Postal Service, developed a new flat-rate Priority Mail envelope with a glassine window, offering DMers a new way to promote their products and services.
The envelope is available only through Antares, Hauppauge, NY. No plans exist to offer it as an option nationwide, said Daniel Barrett, manager, expedited packaging supplies at the USPS.
“When you are talking about a piece with a window in it, there is a lot of potential for variation on where customers want that window positioned, depending on their software program and where the address is imaged on the correspondence inside,” he said. “One window doesn't necessarily fit for every customer.”
However, Barrett said the USPS is open to working with other direct mail companies to produce these envelopes as long as “there is enough scale in their mailings to afford us the economies in the production environment. We can't run just 500 of these, because our cost per unit would just be too high. But if we have a major customer who is mailing millions of pieces, such as Antares, then, yes, we can work with them to produce something like this.”
Companies interested in working with the postal service to produce this type of envelope should contact their USPS account representative or their USPS Business Service Network.
Antares came up with the idea for the Priority Mail window envelope after being challenged by a client to increase the level of awareness for its outgoing communications. The client wanted a time-sensitive, high-volume mailing package that reflected urgency and was cost-effective.
“Our client was looking for a way to motivate their customers to respond,” said Anthony Rocco, vice president, business development at Antares. “Expedited delivery service creates a sense of urgency that leads to higher response rates, but up until now, high costs prohibited them from using these services.”
Antares solved this problem by investigating how Priority Mail was packaged. It learned that traditional Priority Mail packages required the application of a printed or handwritten adhesive label, sometimes as a match mailing.
Antares' solution: Design a flat-rate Priority Mail envelope with a clear window, which lets mailers print the address of the recipient directly onto their documents in either a duplex or multi-page run.
“The higher response rate and lower labor costs lead to a better return on the investment,” Rocco said.
It created the glassine window, measuring 7 1/4 inches long and 3 inches high. The window is currently on only prepaid, Priority Mail envelopes that feature a $3.85 stamp printed directly on the envelope. There is no extra cost to use the envelope.