I just received this question from a student, and this question is asked so often by actors that I thought I would post my answer here:
I just ordered clear headshot envelopes to send out my headshots in. I normally send out my resume/headshot in a regular 8 1/2 X 11 manila mailing envelope. Since the headshot and resume will be in a clear headshot envelope do you think it is acceptable to use a Ready Post Photo Document Mailer??? I don't think they look as professional however it would protect my photo during mailing.
Thanks for such a great question. A lot of actors have asked about this, so I thought I would throw my $0.02 worth in!
Personally, I don't think that using document mailers are worth the effort. Envelopes are only bent or folded when absolutely necessary (for example, for fitting into a small PO Box) so when you include cardboard (or similar object) to protect the photo, you can sometimes inhibit the delivery of your photo to the intended recipient. The regular envelope should be protective enough from everyday wear and tear- if the post office needs to bend your photo to deliver it, you want to be sure that your envelope lets them do so. Plus, using a document mailer makes what is already an expensive endeavor even more expensive, and it adds another step to the mailing process. So, I think you can bypass this item.
That being said, if you feel strongly about using it, I don't think it would look unprofessional. I think the recipient will have a clear understanding of why you are including it, so I don't think it would reflect badly on you.
I also want to mention... if window envelopes cost more than traditional ones, for future mailings you can probably bypass using window envelopes altogether. Most offices have their mail opened by assistants & interns (or a mail room) so the end recipient won't have seen the envelope anyway. I am all about creative marketing, but if you are watching your wallet (like most of us are) this might be an area where you can save a little $$.
Thanks again for posting this question- hope my feedback helps!
Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.