Case Study: Human Rights Campaign Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal, Part 3
"It was one of the first times that we had ever put on the outside envelope something that would identify it as related to LGBT issues," HRC's Susan Paine says. "We typically have just a plain white envelope with personal correspondence in acquisition. For the first time we showed the premium that we had created, which had 'repeal DADT on it.' … Not only did it do well in the test … but we didn't receive any complaints from people who might have been concerned about getting something that could potentially out them."
The contents inside included a two-page letter, a 7-inch-by-10-inch lift note from Erica Alva — one of HRC's biggest spokesmen and U.S. Marine Corps veteran who came out as a homosexual when he retired after 13 years of military service — reply form, premium insert, HRC membership insert and BRE.
The letter, which was sent by HRC President Joe Solmonese, used all the classic techniques: underlined and bold text, short paragraphs, a signature and a P.S. It began in underlined type: "Thanks to your generous past support, the Human Rights Campaign has made major progress in our fight to the repeal the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law." The next paragraph was bold: "That's why I urge you to renew your HRC membership for 2010 today — because we simply cannot win this critical fight and other key battles for equality without you."
A few paragraphs down, two calls to action were laid out. It began, "That's why I'm urging you to take two critical actions today," in underlined text, followed by the calls to action in bold typeface:
"First, please sign the enclosed petitions urging your two U.S. Senators to support swift passage of legislation to allow lesbian and gay patriots to openly serve in our nation's armed forces — and rush the petitions back to me before May 31st in the envelope provided.