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Envelope teasers are very crucial in direct mail since the prospective customer has about 3 or 5 seconds to decide whether to open your envelope or chuck it into the trash bin.
Here is a weak and rather annoying envelope teaser that would’ve directly gone to the trash basket if I weren’t a professional copywriter who likes to meditate on these things and tries to learn something new everyday about this fascinating business of direct mail:
“Is This Little-Known Energy Company America’s Next Major Uranium Producer?”
My first reaction is:
“You are asking ME? How the heck would I know? YOU are supposed to be the expert and yet you don’t know whether THIS [whatever it is] little-known company is the next big thing on the horizon or not?”
As I read the envelope teaser I’m wondering if THIS is a way for me to make money OR provide free information to someone who doesn’t quite has the skinny on this “little known company” yet…
Who knows, perhaps this “little known company” is little known for a very good reason indeed!
This teaser has already lost me with its indecisiveness.
Then comes the next line:
“Time-Sensitive Report. Open Immediately.”
No. Sorry. I won’t. Because who ever wrote the copy is not sure of this company at all. If the publisher is not sure of his/her facts, how can I trust him/her to lead me?
Why didn’t this teaser really teased the heck out of me and did its job with no holds barred by saying something like:
“Little known company… about to explode (guaranteed!) as America’s next major uranium producer. Limited-time opportunity to get in on the action before the little known company is not so anymore…”
Now, THAT would have perked my attention because of the firmness of the voice and the strength of the promise.
If you want me to open that envelope DO NOT ASK ME PUZZLES and DO NOT MAKE ME THINK.
If you are trying to write a teaser don’t be halfhearted or shy about it. Make sure you are really TEASING instead of posing intellectual puzzles with no answers.