Nonprofit Postal Rate Recommendations Ignored
March 19, 2007

Monday, March 19, 2007 — The Governors of the US Postal Service (USPS) this afternoon approved most of the Postal Regulatory Commission’s (PRC) postal rate recommendations, which were announced on February 26.  Most of the new rates will take effect on May 14, 2007.   The Governors listened to DMA’s members and requested reconsideration of the PRC’s rate recommendations for Standard Mail flats (catalogs).  The Governors also ask the PRC to reconsider recommended rates for the Non-Machinable Surcharge for First-Class Mail letters, and the Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box. On Tuesday, March 20 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EDT), DMA will host a virtual seminar on

It’s Elementary
March 18, 2007

Sometimes all it takes is one element with one strong image that intertwines with and communicates a singular, strong message to give a direct-mail package response-driving impact. This mailing from Planned Parenthood Federation of America trying to rally support against pharmacists’ refusal to fill birth-control prescriptions achieves this with a six-panel, 4-inch-by-7-inch glossy pamphlet. The package is mailed in a white No. 10 envelope with faux red-stamp copy reading “Petition Enclosed” and includes an 8.5-inch-by-14-inch form with the reply device and three petitions, a four-page, 8.5-inch-by-11-inch letter and a BRE, in addition to the pamphlet. The letter does a good job of laying PPFA’s case, but

A Postal Rate Case Update
March 13, 2007

March 9, 2007 11:30 a.m. (EST) Dear DMA Member: What a week this has been for the mailing community! As you are probably aware, we have been working aggressively to let the US Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors know that some of the specific rate increase recommendations issued by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) on February 26 would be devastating to many of our commercial and nonprofit members. I would like to take a moment to bring you up to speed on what has happened so far, and what we must prepare for in the weeks and months ahead. But first, I want

A Missed Opportunity
March 12, 2007

There are two aspects of this membership mailing from the Foundation for the National Archives worth noting. First, it is a very well branded piece that uses a red, white and blue color scheme to accentuate copy throughout the mailing, but most effectively on the outer envelope and reply device. This repeated, bold color scheme pulls all of the mailing’s elements together in a very strong way. This branding also comes through powerfully on the 3.5-inch-by-8.5-inch double-sided glossy insert. It features background colors of red and blue, images of the National Archives building, the Declaration of Independence and a colonial American soldier playing a whistle,

Using Elements Wisely
March 6, 2007

For a mailing that comes through the mail looking rather small in its 4.5-inch-by-8-inch outer envelope, this campaign from the Servants of Mary has a slew of elements. Different ones, at that. First is the outer envelope, different enough in size from the usual No. 10s to get noticed. Stretched from end to end of the envelope’s face is a four-color photograph showing the silhouette of a person standing on top of a mountain, arms reaching up toward the sun as it breaks through the clouds. Above the address box is copy reading, “Celebrate Life.” Though small, the outer envelope shows some girth, packed as it

Simple, Classy Branding
February 27, 2007

Here’s a good example of a simple mailing with strong branding. There’s no gloss or glitz or flashy graphics, just basic color branding. The WLIW21 logo in brown and light blue appears on each element, and this color scheme is used to highlight pull-out messages throughout the mailing. For example, on the face of the No. 10 outer next to a teaser announcing “New fall programs inside!” is an image of a brown, clip-art leaf. And in the top right corner on the first page of the two-page letter is a simple illustration of a flower, colored light blue, and below it, “Coming soon!”

Using Fighting Words
February 20, 2007

This mailing by Colel Chabad, an umbrella philanthropy supporting a network of soup kitchens, day-care centers, dental and medical clinics, camp scholarships, senior centers and other social-welfare projects throughout Israel and the former Soviet Union, is a great example of jolting outer envelope design and copy that gets recipients inside. The No. 10 envelope is designed in black, red and white colors, with reverse type. The right half of the outer is white, its purity interrupted by vertical streaks of black encroaching from the envelope’s left side, which is designed as though it was haphazardly brushed black with a paint brush. A horizontal stroke of

Say What You Mean — In More Ways Than One
February 13, 2007

Sometimes in direct mail, it’s not just what you say but how many different times and ways you say it that gets the message across to recipients. That’s not to say that a brief, well-written letter won’t do the trick, but when financially do-able, more elements (touch points) within a mailing — each one reiterating your message in a different way with a different graphical mix — can help break through the message-screening filter of most consumers/donors. This mailing by the International Rescue Committee does a great job of mixing simple and high-gloss elements, and reiterating its message in a variety of ways. To start,

DMANF Calls for Delay in Postage Rate Changes
February 8, 2007

Washington, DC, February 8, 2007 - The Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation (DMANF) is asking the United States Postal Service to delay the implementation of regulations that would more than double the postage for many nonprofit mail pieces. In its formal comments, the DMANF expressed serious concerns that the proposed regulations will dramatically increase postage costs for nonprofit mailers by pushing pieces that currently qualify as automation rate flats (as well as some letter mail that exceeds 3.5 ounces) into the significantly higher priced Not Flat-Machinable (“NFM”) and parcel rate categories. Among the mail packages that will be affected are flat-size pieces that contain

A Healing Offer
February 6, 2007

There’s a lot going on in this mailing from Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, but it’s safe to say it works for the organization, as I’ve seen this package or versions of it in the mail for a few years now. In last week’s “Direct Mail Spotlight,” I talked about the World Wildlife Fund’s use of tried-and-true response boosters, and Missionary Oblates employs quite a few in this campaign, as well. Time-sensitivity and both a freemium and premium offer are communicated on the 4-inch-by-9.5-inch outer envelope. One premium — “genuine Lourdes water” — is described, while the other — an Our Lady of Lourdes