Anatomy of a Direct Mail Control: St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance
One of the largest food banks in the U.S. uses several good techniques in this direct mail appeal.
Mailer Name: St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance
Date Mailed: June 2014 to June 2015
St. Mary’s was founded in 1967 and bills itself as the “world’s first food bank.”
This direct mail campaign, sent to its house file, features a large image of a little girl on the front of the envelope.
The teaser explains: “All Emily had to eat was crackers and jam.” The donor is directed inside for “her heartbreaking story.”
The letter’s Johnson Box teases the story further: “Emily’s mom was frantic. How would she feed her hungry child?”
The body of the letter tells of a mother, Anna, who lost her job and became destitute. Crackers and jam were often the only meal for her and her daughter.
But the story takes a turn. “Thanks to generous friends like you,” it continues, families like Anna’s get just enough help to get back on their feet.
A final visual element helps complete the picture of how their donation makes a difference. Another, separate black-and-white snapshot shows a smiling Emily.
You can get a free PDF of this direct mail campaign, as well as a more in-depth analysis, courtesy of Who’s Mailing What!
Contrasting images can say much more than words.