Strike a Match
This direct-mail package had what LW Robbins refers to as a “cheap and dirty” look. It’s nothing fancy — all lasered so it could be produced as quickly as possible; a raw, rough look contrasting the usual polished look of CGF mailings; Courier font to replicate a “typed-in-the-office” feeling; etc.
This no-frills mailer got right to the point. The No. 10 outer envelope simply has the teaser, “EMERGENCY REQUEST,” in all caps, next to the CGF logo, along with a simple window with the recipient’s name and address. Inside is a simple one-page letter, just seven paragraphs long, which begins, “I’m writing you today with a heavy heart.”
It then describes the tragic crash in Mobile, Ala., and how CGF is asking for the donor’s help in aiding the families of the fallen Coast Guard members. It asks recipients to donate either to the “Family Disaster Relief Fund” or the “Fallen Heroes Scholarship Fund,” and includes direct-mail best practices such as underlined text, heavy use of “you” and “thanks in advance.” It’s also signed by CGF President Anne B. Brengle and followed by a postscript: “To put your gift to work even faster, give online at www.coastguardfoundation.org.”
The reply form is perforated at the top of the letter. It reads: “Yes! I want to contribute to the Coast Guard Foundation’s …” and then offers the choices of the Family Disaster Relief Fund, Fallen Heroes Scholarship Fund or “Where My Gift Is Needed Most.” It also offers ask strings based on prior giving history, as well as a place to write in an amount.
Also included is a form for credit card gifts, which also asks about employee matches and offers a monthly giving option. And the business reply envelope enclosed includes a deadline: “URGENT! Please respond by March 31, 2012” (the package was mailed March 9).