And the Survey Says: You score points with donors when you let them know you're listening
An impressive quadruple-duty format
The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) recently mailed a 14-inch-by-8.5-inch inline "2011 Truth About Gun Owners Poll" package that's bold in its design and format. Aside from the billboard-style teaser and graphic, I was intrigued by small teasers at the bottom of both sides of the outer, "HANDLE WITH CARE / CARBON COPIES ENCLOSED."
The poll is the centerpiece of the package, printed on carbonless copy paper, actually. NRA-ILA wants my opinions, yes, but it also wants to share them with my two senators and representative in Congress. Whereas many organizations might have done a simple petition campaign, NRA-ILA mixes it up with this intriguing alternative means of sending a message to Congress.
In the finished piece, sheets making up the poll are of varying length, each personalized with the legislator's name at the bottom. Instructions at the top of the poll request: "Use a ballpoint pen and press hard because you are making four copies. Please sign where indicated to validate your answers."
The design is strong and eye-grabbing, and it has a tactile wow factor as well, with the feel of the carbonless copy paper and the step-like pages. It's a very distinctive package, although not one many mailers can afford.
That doesn't mean, however, that it's impossible to create an amazing survey offer within even the smallest production budget.
No matter what shape your survey takes, you mail a winner when your subtext says to your donor: "You have my attention. In a noisy crowded room, it's your voice I'm concentrating on. You're the one whose thoughts I want to hear, because you matter to me."
So go forth, and actively listen.
Kimberly Seville is a creative strategist and freelance copywriter. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org