A Friendly Mailing
This mailing from Eight/KAET, Arizona State University’s public radio station, is a membership renewal sent to the station’s Friends of Eight members that combines simplicity and friendliness in a way that is incredibly endearing.
The blue No. 10 outer envelope has the teaser, “We took a chance on you … ” and a simple, cartoon-like illustration of a man holding a pole and walking on a tight rope. Inside is an 8.5-inch-by-10.5-inch double-sided letter with a perforated reply slip at the bottom. At the top of the letter, just below the organization’s logo and address information, is the same image of the man on a tight rope, along with the headline “Each time we select a program to broadcast to you, we take what some people call a big chance … .”
The letter addresses the “friend” personally, even specifying the amount of his or her first gift, e.g., “Your gift of $40 was exceptionally generous … .” It talks about the station’s programming as chances that have been taken on behalf of its friends and connects this to its call for support: “We took the chance you would want the children in your life to view non-violent, non-commercial programs like Clifford the Big Red Dog, Sesame Street and Arthur. Most of all, we took the chance that our neighbors in Arizona would do their fair share.”
The letter’s message — that the station walks a tightrope that members can help it balance through their support — isn’t sugar coated and has a sincere, friendly tone. This straightforward approach is also seen on the back of the reply that shows two columns, one with the headline “You Need to Know,” and the other with the headline “We Need to Know.” Under “You Need to Know” is an explanation of where members’ donations go. Under “We Need to Know,” the station asks contributing members to list their favorite programs, captures their phone number and e-mail addresses, and asks those who have decided not to contribute to explain why. These two elements are incredibly simple, but they go a long way toward showing members that, like true friends, their opinions are valued.