Whistle while you fundraise
In the mail stream this year, prospects (subscribers to publications such as Vegetarian Times and Yoga Journal, for example) will find an 8-inch-by-10-inch, in-line-produced, sans-coin(s) package that includes all the old elements, just on a slightly smaller scale. The real change here, though, is the application of a small, red-and-green plastic whistle. As one might imagine, the new device lent itself nicely to a snappy teaser: “John A. Sample. Blow the Whistle on Cruelty.”
“The genesis of putting the coin on there was the idiom about a penny for your thoughts or your two cents worth,” Anderson says, admitting that the pack’s coin-and-copy affinity has lost its panache over the years. “We started to see a fall off of the returns with the coins and felt we needed to do something else with the package.”
Anderson is quick to point out the challenges of locating 50,000 small plastic whistles for an initial launch and another million once the results proved impressive enough to roll out.
“We haven’t really been able to beat our survey pack, although results over the years have started to decline,” Anderson notes. “I don’t think it’s unusual in the direct-mail world to see the staying power of a good idea by finding things to tweak it to keep the response rate up.”