Signed, Affixed, Sealed and Delivered
Adapting a message for multiple audiences isn't always practical-or possible. And when it comes to messaging to different international markets, language and cultural nuances can pose unique challenges for an international organization to approach its direct marketing efforts with a similar focus in different countries.
But when Handicap International opened its doors in the United States in 2006, it enlisted the services of New York-based EuroAmerican Communication-an agency that for more than a decade has introduced European nonprofits to the American fundraising market-to adapt a direct mail package that had been successful reaching the French market, for prospects in the U.S. "We thought the crutch [concept] was pretty unique, and so we wanted to find a way to adapt that package for the U.S.," says James Rose, marketing director at EuroAmerican Communication. "The crutch package has been successful in France so that was an indicator that it was good at capturing the attention of prospects who opened it."
Since 2006, Handicap International has been mailing its crutch acquisitions package that features a #10 envelope with the teaser copy, "The little crutch inside is not a toy ..." beside an image of a crutch. All of the package's components-from the two-page letter and the reply form to the brochure insert, petition and photo card-reflect a distinct focus on the crutch concept with vivid photos and copy revealing stories of children impacted by the nonprofit's services worldwide. "We try to make a very emotional appeal, and we find that pictures are a very good way of doing that," notes Rose.
A small bamboo crutch-made in Cambodia where the entire package for the French market is assembled and mailed from with international postage-is affixed to the letter and reinforces the focus and emotional message of the package. "We were looking for a premium that was inexpensive, caught the attention of the reader and stood out among the mail that people usually receive in their home," explains Rose.