Activity Highlights: Join/Attend/Be Listed
This category in our Who's Mailing What! Archive is called "Join/Attend/Be Listed." Of course, with thinner wallets and scarce time, the prospect base is a tough nut to crack. But below are a few organizations—a zoo, a gardens, a nonprofit and a couple of cable companies—that give classically good sales jobs. In other words, they make their offer seem like a bargain and that you'd be foolish to to pass it up.
The Philadelphia Zoo makes sure you know that you're getting "the best offer of the year!" as it places that teaser front and center on the 6" x 9" outer in its latest membership retention mailing. Highlighting the bargain deal was so important that it waited until the back of the envelope to advertise its 150th anniversary. Hmm, guess anniversaries, even a 150th one, don't mean as much for prospecting mail as they once did.
Instead, the anniversary is packaged into a "150th anniversary special" and follows with five bullet points, including saving 15 percent on membership, free admission and parking for the year and exclusive thank-you gifts. The letter highlights all of the new exhibits at the zoo alongside the perennial favorites, and the word "free" is mentioned as many times as possible it seems. The order form says, "Hurry, this 15% discount and FREE gift offer expires July 16, 2009!", lists the different prices with the regular price crossed out, and presents three calls to action, with the web as option No. 1. A buckslip is solely devoted to promoting the Family Deluxe Membership and discusses the many extra benefits beyond lesser memberships; the flip side "does the math" and shows you what a truly good deal it is (Archive code #576-172687-0905A).
Longwood Gardens went with a new acquisition letter in its 6" x 9" mailer this year. While the last effort used the "bonding" theme in the letter, including talking about how Longwood gave families the chance to luxuriate in its surroundings, this time it revolves around the word "magnificent," which appears in large bold type at the top and then follows with a short definition. As expected, the four-page letter then highlights those magnificent spots in the Gardens, alongside many four-color pictures. Also included is a "guest ticket voucher," an "upcoming events" mini-brochure, and the "Garden Pass Enrollment Form" that makes a strong push for a web response (Archive code #576-714690-0905).
NAEIR—a nonprofit organization that collects donations of inventory from manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers then redistributes those goods to nonprofit organizations all over the U.S.—has been using a faux newsletter for years successfully. Called a "Special Report for Nonprofits, Schools, Churches, and Government Agencies," the first page of the 8-1/2" x 11" self-mailer (that's wafer-sealed on the side) takes the look of a newspaper article. The title captures immediate attention: "More than $100 million worth of brand-new supplies to be given away to nonprofits for FREE." The picture of the giant warehouse full of gifted merchandise also gets your eye. Otherwise, the "article" explains all about the organization and how to join, and it's followed by a reply card, toll-free number and more information (Archive code #571-178366-0905).
Hard to believe, but there still are many folks who do not have cable TV—and who had their broadcast channels cut off when the "federally mandated Digital Broadcast Transition" occurred. Comcast knows this well from its extensive database, and the firm's recent effort tries ever so gently to recruit these potential customers. The green-colored 6" x 10" self-mailer uses the words "Tick, tock, tick, tock..." on the outer, next to a faux-sticky note that says, "Hurry! Get your FREE Limited Basic Cable before June 12, 2009" followed by two calls to action. The back carries the theme forward with the words, "Time is running out," and the image of a clock.
Opening it up reveals a full page that goes out of its way to reassure the prospect. At the top, it reads, "Watch TV, just like always. With FREE Limited Basic Cable." Then it says, "Keep your local broadcast channels, with no headaches. Are you currently using an analog TV with an antenna?" On the right margin, it says "It's your choice" and then lists a bundle option and limited basic cable option, both of which appear above an elderly gentleman smiling and wearing a T-shirt that says "I am ready" (Archive code #581-176804-0905C).
Lastly, sometimes a good price is not enough to get new customers for cable companies. RCN sent out a 5-1/4" x 8-1/2" self-mailer to New York residents (and baseball fans?) with former baseball great and Cy Young winner Darryl Strawberry featured on the outer: "Here's the pitch ... You Could Join Darryl and the Crew in the SNY Studio." Entering the contest requires signing up for internet and digital TV. Winners will get to be involved with a Mets pregame show, including dinner, autographs and studio visit (Archive code #581-626440-0905B).