They are a given for large companies, but SMEs often do without them: professionally printed envelopes. Yet high-quality business envelopes are no luxury at all, but an effective marketing tool that often even saves time.


Even though communication is rarely done by “snail mail”, in other words with the help of the good old postal service, letters from the business world will not disappear completely so soon. Especially bills and other legally binding documents are preferably exchanged on paper. But print mailings are still an effective marketing instrument. Most of the time, all of these reach the recipient in an envelope. If this envelope is then an unloving standard product without any print, that is quite a pity. Because there are aesthetic, but also economic and practical reasons for envelopes in your own corporate design:

1. First impressions count

Even envelopes are something like business cards. They give a first impression of the sender. Do they attach importance to details? Do they have an eye for quality and design? Needless to say, a cleanly printed, colourful logo alone is more effective than a fleetingly applied stamp, a franking machine imprint or a tiny sender’s details in the envelope window. In addition to the logo, however, printed envelopes can accommodate many other design elements. How intensively you use these possibilities naturally depends on the character of your company and the target group: From a technical point of view, everything is possible from discreetly elegant to strikingly colourful, including paper covering photo printing.

2. The red thread comes to light

If your customer only receives a single document – e.g. an invoice – your corporate design is only used once. The envelope is therefore another opportunity to convey the image of your company, and 2 is in this case more than double the value of 1, because only when your customer sees several elements can he at least begin to recognise whether the CD has a continuous line. This consistency conveys – usually without being consciously perceived – trust, consistency and seriousness. A prerequisite for this effect is, of course, that the letterhead on which the invoice is printed has been designed and produced accordingly.

3. Stamping becomes obsolete

Many companies hand in their letters at the post office counter – and stamp them beforehand with a note such as “postage paid”. Or they can have the franking done by the postal service. The former costs time, the latter money (in Austria, for example, 12 cents per letter). So if you already have the postage paid impression printed, you can save both.

4. The mailings are more likely to be read

According to a study by Nielsen-RAPP Germany, advertising letters with printed envelopes are by far better received than other common mailing variants. E-mails, so-called wrappers, self-mailers and letters in printed and unprinted envelopes were compared. 28.4 % – the relative majority – consider the letter in the printed envelope to be the best of all advertising media tested, only 10 % find the empty window envelope optimal. Almost half of all test subjects even rated the unprinted envelope as the worst solution. A comparison of the recognition values also clearly shows the advantage of printing: 35.8 % could remember the mailings in the graphically designed envelope, only 25 % could remember the alternative in the neutral envelope.

5. The additional costs are minimal

Last but not least – the question of costs. Aren’t printed envelopes senselessly expensive, especially for small print runs? Not at all. Although digital printing is hardly ever used, even for short runs, a lot has happened here in recent years. 2,000 C5/6 window envelopes, printed in four colors, cost EUR 241 with prinux, for example, which is about 13 cents per piece. With 50,000 pieces the unit price drops to 3.6 cents. Truly no luxury.