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Making Mail Magic with Visual Tricks

Trish Witkowski,


This post comes to us from Trish Witkowski, the Chief Folding Fanatic at  An educator, author, speaker and award-winning designer, Trish specializes in creative solutions for mail and marketing.  She hosts a popular e-video series “60-second Super-cool FOLD of the WEEK.” Trish holds a MS in Printing and a BFA in Graphic Design from RIT.

There are so many great ways to get someone engaged in a mail piece. Color, and envelopes and opening mechanisms, and size and shape and printing techniques and paper choice and more—but my favorite go-to strategy of the moment is the visual trick.

I love visual tricks because they’re fun, and simple and very inexpensive. I get a lot of requests for cheap ideas that offer a lot of bang for the buck, and visual tricks really fit the bill.

If you’re unfamiliar with the technique, a visual trick is when imagery is the focal point, and the audience is somehow invited to interact with it—maybe by revealing a slightly different image behind the original (think smiley face to sad face) or by using a short fold to remove a phone from the cradle or to “open” an oven door. You can do neat things with zip strips, pull tabs and peek-a-boo perfed windows, too. There are no rules, but the fun is in the surprise and the creativity. The experience of receiving and opening the mail piece becomes memorable, intriguing and can lead to a response or further investigation.

Looking for inspiration? Here are a few fun real-world samples from my collection.

trish image 1  trish image 2

Credit: J.S. McCarthy Printers


trish image 3

Credit: Vision Marketing

For more engagement strategies, check out my “Direct Mail Strategy” course on, and my eBook series Direct Mail Simplified, available at Lastly, don’t forget to visit to view over 350 videos featuring creative marketing ideas.