Stamp Yourself and Go by Mail

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Everyday you follow the same mail-checking routine.
Coming back from the mailbox, you casually flip through the envelopes, separating them on your countertop.
It usually goes something like this: junk, bill, bill, magazine that you pay for, another bill, and then more junk.
The junk mail goes straight to the trash, and the bills go into the "I'll get to them later" stack.
Then, you take a seat with the winner - the magazine.
Did you ever think of how much money is wasted in all of the junk mail you trash? Somewhere, there is a businessman who cries at the thought that the 50¢ he spent on that piece of mail has been completely wasted.
Well, whose fault is that? Not yours.
With all the mail we receive on a daily basis, we have been trained to sift through the envelopes with a Terminator eye.
We discard whatever looks like junk mail without even noticing what it is.
Here is the conundrum: What if there was actually a product worth looking at in that stack of junk mail? What if the meaningful products you send to potential customers are passing as everyday junk mail? Trying to make the envelope look "official" or slapping the words "Do Not Discard" on the envelope won't save it from the trash.
The solution is to make your envelope stand out from the rest - to make it appealing to your potential customer.
Start by working backwards.
Take a stack of mail from your home to work tomorrow.
Place it square in the middle of your oversized conference table.
Sit and stare at that pile of mail for awhile.
What could you do to get your envelope noticed among all the others? Think about the details of each piece of mail in the pile.
What colors are they? How many have a real stamp on them? How many have address labels? How many have the address printed right on the envelope? You will likely see a pattern to the pieces, and find easy and unique ways to separate your envelope from the others.
Let your creativity inspire you to try something new.
For your next mail piece, buy thousands of bright green envelopes, stamps, and a pack of ballpoint pens.
Then spend the weekend at your kitchen table hand addressing the colored envelopes.
Fold your mail piece, stuff the envelope, and mail them on Monday.
By Thursday your phone will be ringing.
Be as unique as you want to be when it comes to your mailings.
There are really only two rules: don't mail any hazardous materials and make sure you have enough postage.
That's it.
The rest of the details can be as creative and personal as you want (and should) make them.
Don't worry about looking "unprofessional" with hand-written addresses and nonstandard envelope colors.
Professionalism is all about the image you create; it's about clearly communicating your message in a unique and interesting way.
What's unprofessional is letting your message pass as useless junk that slips through the hands of potential customers.
There are no shortcuts to being personal and there is certainly no way to fake it.
You cannot print a font that looks handwritten on a green envelope and expect the same results.
People aren't stupid; they check their mail the same way you do.
It may seem impossible to put this kind of time and effort into all of your mailings, but it is more than possible and more than worth it if you are willing to do it.
Just picture yourself walking back from your mailbox with a pile of envelopes in hand.
In that giant stack, a bright green, hand-addressed envelope catches your eye.
What would you do with it? I promise your customer would do the same thing you would - not only open it, but probably open it first.

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