Archive Observations: A Political Battle Royale
The front of 5" x 6-1/2" self-mailer for Stamps.com (Archive code #810-606731-0907A) illustrates how its product operates, from "Click" to "Print" to "Postage." In addition to free postage, supplies and a scale, the deal is sweetened with a $20 Amazon.com gift certificate. To get started, a CD is included in the mailer's inside sleeve, so an account can be instantly created. Likewise, this service is offered on a trial basis.
Grand Control Update & Profile
Five mailings became Grand Controls (controls in the mail for three or more years) in July, and together, with new discoveries in our files, brought the Archive's grand total to (drumroll, please)1,069. The latest inductees include: Heart Support of America (Archive code #604-301486-0907), Bankers Life & Casualty (Archive code #440-171708-0907), Advanced Financial Services (Archive code #535-174023-0907) and Omaha Steaks (Archive code #355-171626-0907A).
Over the years, I've seen Grand Controls with remarkable staying power. Looking at July's mail, for example, the Arbor Day Foundation's (Archive code #603-172991-0907) member renewal follow-up has only seen minor tweaks since its first appearance in our office in January 1999. The "10 free trees" premium, the letter and eye-catching green OSE remain virtually the same.
But some mailings, like the "EMERGENCY" membership effort by World Wildlife Fund (Archive code #610-171878-0907A), are updated in a more substantial way, while still retaining the heart of the offer. The four-page letter opens with a stark warning: "Without firing a shot, we may kill one-fifth of all species of life on this planet in the next 20 years." Using lots of powerful red-underlined copy to emphasize the crisis, the prospect is recruited to be part of the solution ("we have a plan for survival"). A buckslip lists some earth-friendly lifestyle choices for the prospect to try. Trust is further built by a list of WWF's successes found on the back of the package's freemium, an animal sticker sheet.