February 01, 2024 3 min read

How to determine which envelope is right for your (customer's) business


New to envelopes? Wondering what your customers need?

Ever scrolled through an envelopes and packaging website (like ours) and wondered what are all these envelopes even for?

Some of your customers might need to send catalogues or brochures regularly updating their customers with their latest information; others might have bills to send, or even election envelopes to collect postal votes; some businesses need specific envelopes for their folder inserter (or various other machines); and some want envelopes that are fast to fill manually. The world of envelopes is vast. 

From gummed wallets to coloured envelopes, we have put together this handy list of envelope types and when you might need to use them. 

  • WALLET ENVELOPES: First up, we have the envelope that people are probably most familiar with. They are considered the Weetabix of the envelope world, with the opening running along the longer side of the envelope. A household staple that is sent to everyone at some point or another, this envelope is also typically used by companies wanting to automate the paper insertion process with a Folder Inserter. 
  • POCKET ENVELOPES: This envelope opens along the shorter side, and is typically used for franked mail, general mail and office post. These envelopes are stronger than your average envelope, and are commonly chosen where a bit more protection or strength is required, for example, the Grampian is often used as an internal mail envelope or job bag.
  • DIAMOND FLAP ENVELOPES: These envelopes have a diamond shape (triangle)  at the top, typically designed to hold greeting cards, invitations, and business correspondences. They are also made with low GSM so they're lightweight, cost less to post and are perfect for keeping those birthday invitations safely tucked away.  
  • CORRUGATED ENVELOPES: Also known as a fluted card mailer, they are thick envelopes made with an inside layer of e-flute cardboard lining.  Tamper-proof, strong, and versatile in terms of available sizes, they're the kind of envelope that internet retailers love and can be used for compact electronics, books, catalogues, and DVDs/CDs.  
  • BOARD BACK ENVELOPES: If you have important documents, the board back envelope is your best friend. It is bump-resistant with a tough board backing to help reduce bending. You can also get them with a window to speed up insertion and eliminate the need for costly matching of goods and labels (win-win). This type of envelope is also great for flat gifts, catalogues, certificates, photos and DVDs.
  • ELECTION ENVELOPES: With elections just around the corner, it's also helpful to revisit the envelopes that are used for that. Postal votes for elections require two envelopes - an oversized C5 window envelope on the outside, and an undersized non-window envelope on the inside. The envelopes themselves, however, are not board back or gusset. They're your regular white paper envelope that any of your bills or letters might arrive in. 
  • GREETING CARD ENVELOPES: Unlike the Diamond Flap envelope, greeting card envelopes come in many different shapes, sizes and colours, and they aren't always diamond flaps. As the name suggests, they are historically used for greeting cards and are always light in weight and typically fully recyclable (as are most of the envelopes mentioned here). 
  • COLOURED ENVELOPES: Coloured envelopes, like greeting card envelopes, will vary in style and almost don't fit within the envelope typesper se. But coloured envelopes, from pink and purple, to black or gold, are a type of envelope.  
  • POLYTHENE ENVELOPES: If you have important items to send that can't afford to get wet, particularly something precious like a medical product or paper document, a water-resistant option made of polythene might be needed. Our Airship Padded Mailer is similar to this type, though it's technically a polythene bag, rather than an envelope.


And don't forget that the thickness and size of the envelope also play an important part too. The thicker the envelope, or the higher the GSM, grams per square metre, the more sturdy it will be. However, it will also cost more to post. 

Does this help you navigate the beautiful array of envelopes that exist for trade? Don't worry if you don't know exactly what you need, that's our job. Simply drop us a line, or give us a call anytime, as we would love to help you work out the best envelopes (or other packaging solutions) for your business.