A smartly designed envelope can increase response.

In addition to all of the critical details that go inside a fundraising envelope, the outer envelope is even more important. Trillion has made the creativity of the outer envelope design a constant focus on behalf of our nonprofit clients. We design them to be simple, memorable and relevant so they are more likely to be opened. In this article we share some of our successful designs with you to help inspire your next mailing. We grouped these outer envelope design ideas exclusively for nonprofit appeals.

Being absolutely unique is certainly a way to get your outer envelope design noticed and opened.

It’s all in the outer envelope

You would be surprised how many nonprofits overlook the critical importance of their outer envelope design. Your appeal letter, renewal form or request to support a worthy cause will be missed if your outer envelope does not get opened. Its design needs to be strategic and creative in order to avoid a one way trip to the recycling bin.

When having a graphic design company create your outer envelope there are two factors you should take into consideration:

  • Does their outer envelope design grab your attention even when mixed in a pile of mail? (color, size, shape)
  • Does the messaging or visuals on the outer envelope make you want to open it?

If your outer envelope does not pass either of these simple tests it’s clearly not grabbing attention and will not entice recipients to open it. In this case, a redesigned envelope is needed before sending it out for printing.

Trillion empowers nonprofits by maximizing brand impact through creative marketing collateral, annual appeal and print design. Let us help you with your fundraising goals. Let us be your nonprofit’s graphic design studio.

Here are 4 categories of outer envelope designs we have created for our nonprofit clients:

Unique Outer Envelope Designs

Being absolutely unique is certainly a way to get your outer envelope design noticed and opened. Great care and strategic thinking should be given to produce a unique outer envelope design. If more expensive finishing methods, papers or printing are utilized, you may leave your constituents, or potential constituents, thinking that you are not spending your marketing and development budgets wisely; so be conscious of how your audience may perceive the cost.

This is an outer envelope design example for a regional theater in NJYMCA-Annual-Appeal-Envelope-Design-FrontUnique-Outer-Envelope-Design-Example-Front Spring-Appeal-Outer-Envelope-Design

Official Looking Outer Envelope Designs

Think “government” notices or envelopes designed to look like they contain an invoice, bill or check. These outer envelope designs can work nicely for membership renewals or sponsorship packets. Additional consideration should be given to the item that shows through the window of the envelope. For example, if a pattern that looks like a check is combined with your personalized address, the recipient might think they are receiving a payment which could have an impact on whether or not they open the envelope.

Designing an outer envelope to be official might fool people to open the outer envelope6x9-Envelope-Design-ExampleYMCA-Annual-Appeal-Outer-Envelope-DesignNonprofit-Memoriam-Mailing-Envelope-DesignFall-Appeal-Mailing-Envelope-Design-Front

Special Offers Included in Outer Envelope Designs

Is there an offer which intrigues you? Matching grants, corporate sponsorships, giveaways, dollar savings and free offers are all ways that your nonprofit might be able to entice a recipient to open the envelope.


Mysterious Outer Envelope Designs

Have you ever received a plain white envelope with hardly anything on it—not even a logo? It leads you to wonder if there is something important inside, right? Blank envelopes frequently get opened simply because it’s human nature to be afraid that we might miss a check from our bank, or something similar. While blank envelopes can be effective in certain circumstances, nonprofits need to be careful with this approach because, depending on the nature of your organization, there’s no place for trickery when you’re appealing for contributions.

Blank envelope designs, or ones with minimal content, could see higher open rates but be careful.

Trillion specializes in turning outer envelopes into revenue machines!

It’s time that your appeals see better results. Give Trillion a call at 908.219.4703 or use our handy contact form here. We excel at achieving great results for our nonprofit clients and strive to make their investments in design and mailing work harder and more effectively.