Anatomy of a Control: Keep It Simple
My sense is that “recycle” symbols elsewhere in the mailing are redundant and interruptive. At the same time, this is WWF, so maybe the donor has to constantly be hit over the head with what good guys these are.
The back of the carrier envelope has a fourth panda logo on the flap with the line of copy, “Let’s Leave our Children a Living Planet” and the www.worldwildlife.org URL. In the center of the envelope is a box that proclaims: WWF named top environmental charity for five consecutive years by SmartMoney magazine!
This is, in effect, a powerful testimonial. But on the other hand, I wouldn’t recommend splashing the URL around a direct mail package for the same reason as the recycle symbol. Suggesting the prospect go to a Web site interrupts the argument and gives an excuse to lay down the mailing in the middle of the pitch.
Late direct marketing guru Dick Benson said, “A letter should look like a letter.” And this WWF emergency appeal does, indeed, look like a letter — printed in typewriter type with a handwritten headline in red at the top of Page 1 and red underlines that look like they were hand scrawled.
When a direct mail piece arrives, you know intellectually that it’s a mass communication. But these underlines warm it up, making it appear that a human hand had actually touched it.
The letter is a series of short paragraphs — none longer than seven lines. The only page that ends with a period is the last page. Each of the first three pages ends in a broken sentence with a note that says either “over, please” or “next page, please.” This keeps the eye moving. Here are a few excerpts from the letter and the hot buttons they hit.
- Without firing a shot, we may kill one-fifth of all species of life on this planet in the next 30 years. [ANGER]
- Why should we care about the fate of these forests thousands of miles away? Because ... these tropical forests are also ... the sole source of lifesaving medicines like quinine, man’s most potent weapon against malaria. [FEAR]
- We have a plan for survival. But we need your help to make it succeed. [SALVATION]
- If you simply wonder to yourself “Why bother?” or ask “Who needs nature anyway?” I can tell you that every one of us needs nature. For food, health, scientific innovation. For the prevention of floods, droughts, epidemics, and other natural disasters. And of course, we need wild places, animals, and plants for recreating, renewal and inspiration. [GUILT]
So where is the [GREED]? Elsewhere is an offer for a World Wildlife Fund umbrella in return for a donation of $15 or more.