One challenge faced by both direct mail and email is getting the communication piece opened. In emails, using an intriguing subject line gets people to click open the message. For postal direct mailers, the challenge is getting recipients to tear open the envelope or self-mailer so they see and read what’s inside.

So how do we get our prospects to engage and “open sesame”? Two thoughts:

1. Spend as much time on subject line or direct mail envelope as you do the full content of the mailer. Tease the recipient. The word free is intriguing, but using it in the email’s subject line may get your message flagged as spam. Use the word free in a postal campaign and people will chalk it up to hype and suspect there are hidden strings attached. Consider asking a question instead. Get creative.

2. Hand-address the envelope and put a real stamp on it. If it looks like a wedding or party invite, it will get opened first. This works particularly well with small-list B2B mailings.

Remember, the greatest offer sent to the best list ever will go nowhere if it doesn’t get opened first. What’s the most savvy opener you’ve seen?