Do you send your sales letters and promotional materials in a company envelope, emblazoned with your logo in the left-hand corner? Most entrepreneurs do, and that can be a big mistake. According to direct-mail guru Jerry Fisher, most people glance at their commercial mail and decide whether to toss or open it in a matter of seconds. Fisher claims you can save your mail from being immediately trashed by sending it in a primarily blank envelope. Instead of spelling out your company's name in the return address, try creating an air of mystery and use only initials.

You might want to test your mailings, using one with an intriguing or compelling message printed on the envelope and one that's virtually blank. But mark Fisher's words: Sheer curiosity will get your "essentially anonymous" envelope opened more than 50 percent of the time.