Easter Seals grabs the attention of its donors with a direct mail package that appeals to their sense of humor.
Mailer Name: Easter Seals
Date Mailed: April 2015 & April 2016
Getting a past donor to renew their membership or contribution can be challenging. In this direct mail package, Easter Seals follows up on its big annual drive by using cartoons.
One appears on the front of the envelope. It’s on a repositionable (Post-It) note that’s tipped to the left of the address area. Two women are dining together at a restaurant, and one is talking about the donor by name. “I’m really impressed with Jennifer [LAST NAME],” she says. She goes on to praise her as “someone who is really making a difference.”
The letter inside is structured as an “Urgent Memo” to the donor from one of the group’s staff. In it, she expresses her concern that “I can’t seem to find your reply to this year’s Easter Seals Drive.”
The donor has helped “provide urgently needed support for so many children and adults with disabilities.” And in another cartoon in the upper right corner, the other woman in the conversation from the front has her say. “Jennifer [LAST NAME] is definitely a big part of the solution,” she says.
The cartoons are the work of Stu Heinecke. In his book "Drawing Attention", a primer on how to use cartoons in all aspects of marketing, advertising, personal contact campaigns and social media, Heinecke lays out some rules on cartoon use that have led to incredible response rates for his clients.
- The recipient is the hero, not the brand.
- Focus on an underlying truth. In this case, it is that people want to help other people and to be part of a solution.
Besides the personalized cartoons, this mail package uses another tactic designed to appeal to donors. It includes a small sheet of yellow smiley face stickers. They remind the recipient of the freemiums from the earlier mailing. And on the back, it describes five key areas for child development.
Cartoons can be a powerful tactic, but be extremely careful not to offend or miss your target.