What Color Envelopes get the Highest ROI in Direct Mail?
Direct Mail Success

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October 27, 2022

When someone says the word “growth” to you, do you picture a certain color such as green (for monetary growth)? If so, you are not the only one as “growth” is one of the most common words associated with the color green. Colors have the power of suggestion and that makes your color choices one of the best marketing tools for your business. Color is a form of nonverbal communication that delivers its meaning through association. However, it still carries as much weight and meaning as the words you choose for your messaging.

When it comes to direct mail envelopes, which color envelopes help you achieve the highest ROI? The choice of envelope colors depends on what you are trying to accomplish and the audience you are targeting. Having said that, there are some colors that have a high rate of success as you will see in the article below.

Envelope Colors for Direct Mail Campaigns

Here are some common envelope colors that are proven to get the public to open and interact with direct mail envelopes:


Blue is viewed as being calming and safe and it also gives an air of reliability and trustworthiness. Many people say that blue is their favorite color and this is especially true for men. This is why male boutiques, salons, and male grooming products use this color when advertising their brand. Plus, blue-colored envelopes are ideal for events such as the announcement of a new product launch or discount sales.


Red is generally thought of as being exciting and bold as well as romantic (think love, roses and wine). Red catches the eye more than any other color and it can even increase the appetite (as seen on multiple fast food logos). Keep in mind that red might not be the best choice for a main color so use it more for emphasis or accents.


Yellow is a good choice to convey happiness and optimism but it can also start to become tiresome over a long period of time. Use yellow as an accent color instead of your main tint.


Green is related to topics such as growth, safety, or health as it normally signifies money, abundance or healing. In recent years, it has become associated with recycling and environmentalism. It is calm and soothing which contributes to its effectiveness as a direct mail color option.

Black & White

While black is often considered to be a power color, it can also bring up images of darkness. On the other hand, white is associated with purity as well as being cold or sterile. When they are used together without a more striking color to balance them, black and white can be a bit boring so combine them with other colors to create greater visual interest.


Purple rarely appeals to both men and women. Most women respond to the color while men often have a negative reaction to it. Purple is often best used in campaigns that target women.


Orange is often considered to be a least favorite color because it sends mixed signals. Dark orange can lack trustworthiness while a more yellow orange can signify wealth or wisdom. A more middle orange color conveys energy and warmth. Consider the various shades of orange carefully before using them on envelopes.


Brown is a professional color that represents security and elegance. Brown-colored envelopes are a good choice for general direct mail marketing postcards or letters.  


Gray represents balance and neutrality so it needs to be paired with another color. 

Gray-colored envelopes that also feature black and white can create welcoming visual effects especially with headings on the top of the envelope that encourage people to open the mail piece.


Pink is a feminine color that promotes beauty, romance, and love as well as support and respect. Pink is an attractive color and envelopes with this color are more likely to be saved by recipients (which makes it the best envelope color for direct mail).

Envelope Criteria

Now that you know more about the psychology and marketing strategy behind color envelopes, keep these items in mind when choosing the color of your envelopes for an upcoming direct mail campaign:

  • The shape and size of the mailing
  • The type of service or product you are prompting to the public
  • The needs and desires of the target recipient 
  • Your total budget including the amount available to spend after the printing and production process

You can make the decision to customize your color envelopes but they might require a special dye. Plus, you need to follow all USPS standards to ensure there is not any type of interference with the reading of the postmark or information. 

At NextPage, we work closely with you to make sure you have what you need when planning your direct mail campaign goals and budget. Call for more information. 

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