A simple and successful direct mail control tugs at the hearstrings to get donors to loosen the pursestrings.
Mailer Name: The Salvation Army
Date Mailed: October 2012 to October 2016
Direct mail campaigns have been very good to the Salvation Army. Over the years, 32 of the relief group’s fundraising packages have been in the mail for three years or more. These Grand Controls, as designated by Who’s Mailing What!, include this holiday effort.
The outer is a mostly plain 5-1/2”x8-1/2” envelope, rather like the one a greeting card is mailed in. The return address in the corner card is styled like a personal label. And the donor’s address is inked in handwriting font.
All of these touches get the recipient to lower their guard, even just a little. Even seeing the Army’s logo and nonprofit stamp, some may feel a little warm at an envelope that evokes a more personal greeting.
So, the Thanksgiving card inside should come as no surprise. The front of it shows a turkey dinner with all of the trimmings. This is just the beginning of the guilt as motivator. Below, a prayer adds a religious dimension to the appeal, equating “Your work” with the donor’s charity.
Inside, the Army expresses its holiday wishes first. Then, again in a handwriting font, it asks the donor to “share your blessings.”
The reply form consists of three meal tickets. Each is denominated in terms of how many meals the ask amount will pay for. For example, a $37.92 donation will buy 16 meals. This is another smart tactic. It suggests that the Army has calculated meal costs to the penny and will not fudge or round off this detail.
Holiday efforts don’t have to be overly elaborate or dire to be effective.