Premiums and Paid Products Spotlight: Fundraising Premiums: What's Working and Why
I’m guessing that round-trip premiums like the toothbrush and American flag had longer shelf lives than many organizations typically see because they can be made into annualized, mission-driven campaigns.
There is one caveat to having donors return premiums to you, however. AdoptaPlatoon used business reply envelopes, so it picked up the tab for postage on returned premiums. If you don’t use a postage-paid return envelope, you’ll want to be sure the “Place Stamp Here” box indicates how much postage the premium requires if more than one First Class stamp.
I also got another interesting item from AdoptaPlatoon: a little box of chewing gum. Although the box of gum showed through a second window on the carrier, rather than being hyped with a “Free Gift” teaser or headline on the letter, the premium was downplayed. It wasn’t mentioned until Page 5 of the letter: “If you liked receiving the small box of gum I enclosed to get your attention, then think of how much more our troops in a war zone appreciate receiving an entire box of goodies from AdoptaPlatoon!”
It struck me a bit like other can’t-quite-throw-it-away items because it was peeking through the window — the kind of premium used to make a point rather than be a gift.
The non-premium premium
Wounded Warrior Project’s acquisition package also used a second window to showcase a mission-based premium that was arguably not a premium: a First Class Purple Heart stamp paper-clipped to the letter/reply.
The copy was a classic, local-area fund drive with several personalization points using my city, state and name — but made even more compelling with the story of Jeremy, a young Army Ranger seriously wounded in Iraq.
The only mention of the premium was in the letter’s headline: “I attached a 42 cent Purple Heart stamp because … wounded troops returning from war urgently need your response to WWP’s [State] Fund Drive now!” Then, on the courtesy reply envelope, a box in the postage area directed, “PLACE YOUR FREE STAMP HERE,” effectively making the Purple Heart stamp a round-trip premium.