A Brave New Package
When a mailer boldly experiments with its packageformat, creative, design, offer, etc.the editors here take notice. Especially if the mailing arrives from a nonprofit organization that has felt the effects of a depressed economy.
An August acquisition appeal from the American Heart Association gave us reason to take a second glance (604AMHEAS0803). The altruistic combatant of heart disease dropped an in-line produced, 8-1/2" x 9-1/2" envelope package that is a complete departure from anything it has mailed previously. Historically, the nonprofit mailer has sent prospective donors and members an array of 6" x 9" and 4" x 7-1/2" package format sizeschock full of the basic elements. Some were even designed to look like bills. In fact, the 4" x 7-1/2", invoice-style effort has been a long-term control for the American Heart Association, and may have needed a larger companion mailing, such as the one we received this month, to prevent package fatique.
The in-line package consists of: a one-page letter with an attached sticky note, a donor reply card with a perforated CRE, and three freemiumsenvelope seals and address labels, both plain and holiday-themed.
The letter copy is positioned on its own page; often times the American Heart Association will present it as part of the donor reply card. And the tone seems to have been borrowed from previous efforts. Letter copy for a 4" x 7-1/2" regional appeal, dropped in May, reads: "Cardiovascular diseases and stroke are real and deadly threats to you and the entire [Johnson] family. They killed 90,577 in California last year alone and are responsible for nearly 40% of all deaths nationwide ... "
In this letter, the American Heart Association fleshes out its statistics-heavy approach: "Did you know that diseases of the heart are the No. 1 killer in America? And that stroke is the No. 3 killer? It's hard to believe, isn't it? Since 1924, the American Heart Association has been fighting to prevent heart disease and stroke ... " A sticky note serves as a finishing touch: "We need your help to fight America's No. 1 killerand save lives ... maybe even your own ... in Haddonfield."
In the past, the nonprofit mailer has offered greeting card and notepad freemiums, but rarely, if ever, did it include envelope seals and address labels. The cost-effectiveness of in-line producing most likely afforded the American Heart Association the opportunity to add these bells and whistlesand with personalization, at that. Many experts say that in-line traditionally works best when the mailers' quantity is more than 250,000 pieces, and if the package requires highly personalized messages on multiple components.
With this package, the American Heart Association has boldy gone where it has never been before.