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

Underwear Enclosed… No, Really
February 1, 2007

It’s not every day someone sends you underwear. Out of the hundreds and hundreds of fundraising packages I receive annually, this one from the Southwest Indian Children’s Fund is a hands-down standout.

I have bins full of T-shirts and umbrellas and fleece blankets and teddy bears and all sorts of pens and pins and what-nots in addition to heaps of non-premium mail. But until that fateful day, no one had ever sent me underwear.

The Little Mailing That Did
February 1, 2007

The Vermont Foodbank is the only food bank in the state of Vermont. For years, CEO Deborah Flateman says, it had relied on volunteers to produce its acquisition and renewal mailings in-house. The pieces themselves were inexpensive, consisting mostly of a letter with the organization’s letterhead and simple reply elements.

Response Boosters Give Mailing Impact
January 30, 2007

This mailing from the World Wildlife Fund caught my eye because it’s simple, and efficient in its use of some key direct-mail response boosters. The face of the 4-inch-by-9.5-inch outer envelope shows a four-color photograph of a tiger with the teaser, “Who’s Watching Her Back?,” and on the back is response-booster No. 1: a time-sensitive premium offer that reads, “Respond within 10 days to get your choice of three WWF Gund plush animals! See inside for details …” Inside the carrier is an 8.5-inch-by-14-inch, double-sided letter with a detachable reply device at the bottom. The letter is printed on yellow paper in typewriter font and

A Complete Package
January 23, 2007

I’ve seen this mailing from the National Audubon Society in the stacks of mail I’ve pored through each month since taking on the task of writing this feature more times than I can count. And every time, it’s stands out because it makes joining the National Audubon Society seem like Christmas all over again. First, the 6-inch-by-9-inch full-color, glossy outer envelope announces that inside the mailing are details about a free bird feeder, and displays a picture of said gift. The 5.5-inch-by-8.5-inch reply slip features a detachable, cardboard, personalized temporary Audubon membership card. Copy next to the card informs recipients that a gift of as