A Break From the Norm Can Convey Worth
For zoos, aquariums and museums, membership comes with some serious benefits, most often free admission. But when it comes to such institutions, there often are differing motivations for becoming a member: cost savings and status. This membership mailing from The Museum of Modern Art lays out both options — and giving levels in between — but aims to net the latter.
Sent in a 4-inch-by-7.5-inch off-white, invitation-style outer envelope, it bears a live stamp and, just above the MoMA return address, the line, “Agnes Gund, President Emerita.” Announcing that it’s a personal invite from MoMA’s president from the start makes the mailing scream “high touch.”
The double-sided letter also is on the same off-white paper and mixes the budget and elite benefits by explaining that members will receive free admission (budget) to its new, Dada exhibit (elite). And the 3.5-inch-by-7-inch glossy, four-panel “Membership Benefits” brochure shows the different levels of membership to the museum, which range from individual ($75), supporting ($500), benefactor ($2,500) and major benefactor ($10,000).
These two elements show the wide net MoMA is trying to cast. But its desire to attract more high-dollar members seems clear from the also off-white “Membership Acceptance” form, whose style and layout convey the feeling that membership is acceptance into an elite club. Rather than the usual thin reply device that affords little room for copy and results in an ask crammed in with an ask string and other necessary donation information, this Membership Acceptance spreads itself out on the entire 6.5-inch-by-10-inch form. The organization’s name and “Membership Acceptance” are at the top, the prospect’s return address and the affirmative ask — “Yes, I want to be part of MoMA during the exciting year ahead! … — follow, then the ask string of $75, $120, $150, $300 and other and payment information. At the bottom of the form also is an e-mail opt-in check box.