By Patrick O’Keefe

For law firms and document-heavy businesses, mail processing can take up a significant amount of time and money. Fortunately, you have a number of options for improving and streamlining their document and mail handling processes. In fact, a few small mailroom steps can help firms save time, money, and their reputations.

Pre-printed envelopes, for instance, can make mail processing more efficient for law firms and boost the performance of direct-mail marketing efforts. Is your office considering ordering pre-printed envelopes? Here are a few tips that can help you get the most out of your customized stationery.

Get Creative with Return Address Labeling

Labeling envelopes by hand is a time-intensive process for legal offices of all sizes. Plus, it can look unprofessional and derail your credibility with potential or existing clients. Return-address labeling is a unique way to help your mail stand out and ensure proper delivery.

Choose envelopes with distinctive, eye-catching return-address designs that incorporate your firm’s logo. Traditionally, the top-right corner is reserved for return addresses, but that’s not always the best, most effective option. For example, with a standard letter envelope, a firm could create a border along the top of the envelope, as well as a colored panel along the left-hand side of the envelope which contains phone, email, fax and website details. The design options are endless.

Customize Designs Based on Envelope

It’s important that your design matches the envelope you will be using. For example, a #10 envelope cannot contain printing in the lower right corner, as this area is used by the USPS for a processing barcode. Windowed envelopes, on the other hand, cannot have printing that runs up to the window.

Although a number of customization options are available for envelopes, some are better suited for specific envelopes. To avoid misprints and ineffective design, work with an experienced custom-printing company that can help ensure your envelopes are legal, that they look great, and that they’re properly designed.

Ensure Your Letters Stand Out

Legal notices and other official correspondence should be designed to encourage recipients to open them, and there are specific design details that can be incorporated to accomplish this. Red faux-stamp prints, for example, that say “Important Files Enclosed” or “Legal Notice” can help draw the attention of your recipients. Additionally, pre-printed silver stamps or backgrounds can help your mail jump out from other items in the mailbox.

Don’t Forget the Back of the Envelope

The back of the envelope is one of the most underutilized areas for marketing and branding on envelopes. Don’t forget to utilize this space. Adding a touch of personalization – like your firm’s tagline or your contact details – can help your correspondence stand out.