Direct Mail Campaigns of the Year: World Vision & The National Humane Education Society
Number of Recipients: 7,181
Response Rate: 7.74 percent
Total Cost: $9,553
Income Generated: $39,361
Average Gift: $70.79
Cost to Raise a Dollar: $0.24
The highlight of this package for the CGF was a full-color brochure that included vivid photos and testimonials from people who had been rescued by the Coast Guard. Interestingly, while our judges agreed that this was a winning package, they were torn on the use of the brochure. One said, “Kill brochures!” while another called the brochure the best part of the package.
But there was no argument over the package’s use of emotional stories and vivid imagery, including a letter that put the reader right in the middle of a disaster at sea, opening, “Mayday! Mayday! We’re taking on water!”
“We developed an appeal that highlighted the critical role the Coast Guard plays when disaster strikes at sea,” wrote Robbins’ Robin Riggs. “We created a personalized renewal letter with a strong sense of urgency, [and] we also created a full-color brochure which included vivid photos and testimonials from people who had been rescued by the Coast Guard so we could tell their dramatic stories in their own words.”
The emotionally charged images in the brochure reflect the urgency of the work done by the Coast Guard and helped place the donor on the scene. “The stories depicted accidents that could happen to anyone, anytime — a subtle reminder that anyone who sails can suddenly need the Coast Guard’s help themselves,” Riggs wrote.
This package had a 27.3 percent higher response rate, raised 23.5 percent more total revenue and cost 4.4 percent less per piece than the preceding year’s package, Riggs said. “Plus,” she wrote, “the client felt the brochure was so effective at showing the Coast Guard’s life-saving work that they asked us to print an extra 500 copies so they could use them as a leave-behind piece at another fundraising event.”
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