In general: yes!
In reality: It highly depends on your target group!
The difficulty with inactive target groups
An inactive target group is often very "picky" when it comes to advertising. As soon as they see that they are receiving advertising mail, the letter will either be opened late or not at all and may even land in the trash.
The more promotional a mailing looks, the lower the opening rate, which means: a good conversion rate can't be expected. Stick to mailings with a blank white envelope to reduce the risk of low opening rates!
Use cases with inactive customer or non-suitable target groups are: reactivations, churn-preventions, lead generation etc.
Our best practice, after we have tested exactly this case with many different customers: Printed envelopes are only suitable for "fans" of your brand, i.e. for active customers or customers who surely recommend your brand to their friends & family. Valuable customers can always be written to with a printed envelope when they are considered as loyal customers.
Potential use cases could be: birthday mailings, seasonal mailings for high-value customers, loyalty program mailings, e. g. in combination with referral marketing etc.
A/B testing is the key to a successful decision
We always highly recommend to A/B test a non-envelope vs an envelope mailing. Only then can you be sure that you have a valid result for your target group with which you can proceed in further mailings.
Timings and costs
When planning your direct mailings please keep in mind that a printed envelope can always be associated with longer timings. That means your mailing will take a few days longer to produce. In addition, a mailing with a printed envelope is always associated with higher costs than a standard mailing.
General direct mail principle:
"The more loyal the customer, the more promotional the mailing can look."