Publishers Clearing House Helps Hobbyists? Welcome to Creative Envelopes 101

Posted October 29th, 2012 by Tom Owens and filed in Phil Niekro, Publishers Clearing House, RTS
Learn from these masterful marketers!

Sorry, I don’t have any balloons or giant cardboard checks to share.

I do have a bit of wisdom that might help your collection.

PCH does a masterful job of sending two mailings for one stamp.

In other words, look carefully at the envelope. Your address is easy to see.
(That’s important as we try to hobby-ize their secrets.)

The front of the envelope has a teaser, blurb or headline. Same for the back.

I’ve noted before in this blog that I think that address label icons alone might compel a potential signer to open your envelope. You might appeal to their patriotism, school spirit or love of the outdoors.

I read on www.sportscollectors.net that, before Phil Niekro became a cottage industry signer-for-pay, he’d RTS (Return to Sender) most envelopes. If a collector noted that they were including a fish story or a picture of their catch, their fan letter would get through.

Doodle a portrait of the player (or yourself) on the envelope. Add their nickname or a subtitle after their name (like Mr. Tom Owens, The Little Blogger That Could!). The envelope back is your empty canvas. If the postal carrier, clubhouse attendant or spouse comments to the signer-to-be, you’re halfway there.

Sure, make sure the address and ZIP code is visible. After that, it’s time to stand out from the pile. I’ve speculated before that old greeting card envelopes get you in the short stack of fan mail.

Years ago, I worked in an office. A co-worker was in the hospital. My get-well card envelope was spotted. “Hey, I’d sign that, too.” Sad faces greeted the news that it was too late, the envelope was licked.

Suddenly, inspiration came. I sliced open the envelope, passed the card around and grabbed the tape. I wrote on the outside: “I had to re-seal the envelope. Someone put in money, then wanted it back!”

My co-worker returned a new man. He didn’t say anything about the card. “Gawd! The nurses passed that envelope around. The doctors wanted to see it. They laughed themselves sick — in a hospital!”

I’m sure he would have signed all the autographs I wanted.

Coming Wednesday: Would funny letters bring more autographs?

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