An Offer They Can't Refuse
Inside, on matching paper, the note card front panel pronounced again, “Happy Anniversary!” Lifting the note card panel, the name of the organization, Feed the Children, was revealed for the first time. The format: a simple 6-and-a-quarter-inch by 9-inch, four-paragraph letter from the chairman of the board with drop-cut and nested reply form. The letter began with first-name personalization and intriguing first-paragraph copy: “Today is a very special day. This is the anniversary of your heartfelt commitment … 11 years ago today …” Really? Of course, I had to continue reading.
The brief but powerfully written letter acknowledged when the first gift was received — 11 years ago in February — and the total cumulative amount of personal donations received to date. The copy emphasized the life-changing difference the donor’s contribution had made, using one simple word — you — 11 times for repeated emphasis — “Thank you for your compassion” and “Thank you for your commitment” and “… it is our privilege to continue partnering with you.”
Feed the Children could have asked the donor to simply renew, the same as most other organizations do. And it could have just referenced the “member since” information and cumulative gifts. But it was the organization’s unique approach, acknowledging the anniversary of the donor’s first gift and her 11 years of commitment, that caught my attention and got me to open the envelope. Someone at Feed the Children is on the right donor-retention track in terms of smart donor-recognition cultivation techniques. Feed the Children could have sent this donor a certificate of appreciation, but the simple words “Happy Anniversary” are what got this envelope opened.
Surprising up-front premium, photo-heavy case studies and heartfelt copy
My colleague received a Handicap International acquisition mailing and shared it with me, as he had never seen anything like it before. The outer envelope had an unusual vertical window, which displayed an actual, toy-sized crutch. The envelope teaser read, “The little crutch inside is not a toy …”