Direct Mail ($10 Million and Up): United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Number of recipients: 89,246
- Response rate: 6.89 percent
- Total cost: $62,378
- Income generated: $252,256
- Average gift: $41.02
- Cost to raise a dollar: $0.25
Just by virtue of its predominantly black, No. 10 outer, this package stands out in the mail. Adding to the allure is a photo cutout of a lit candle and the message: “Candle Enclosed — Your immediate attention requested.”
But the envelope, while feeling bulky, certainly doesn’t feel like there’s a candle inside. Your first reaction most likely is, “They say it’s a candle, but it’s probably a picture of a candle … let’s see.”
And all of a sudden, you’re inside, where you actually find a thin, white candle — like you would put on a birthday cake. It’s attached to the top right corner of the letter with tape and sits within the ridges of a piece of corrugated cardboard the length of the envelope — protecting the candle while also adding that mystery feel to the package.
The letter is simple and moving. But it’s the promise it makes that is most captivating: Return the candle with a note of appreciation (form provided), and it will be melted down with the tens of thousands of others just like it that also were sent to supporters of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to create a single candle, a unique tribute to be presented to the Holocaust survivors who volunteer at the museum. (Oh, and by the way, would you also consider sending a donation, as well?)
The package also includes a color brochure that introduces the recipient to some of the survivors who work at the museum (who would be honored with the candle), including their stories, and old and current photos.
The candle was a risky proposition because it made the promise of a “gift” to the person opening it yet didn’t quite come through in the traditional way. But the museum and ABD Direct really found a perfect and perfectly unique, mission-appropriate involvement device, and the clever proposition made for terrific results.
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