Direct Mail Spotlight: PennEnvironment
Some fundraising letters grab you by the throat, while others go straight to your heart. But it’s rare that a letter gets you where you live, including making you laugh, raise your eyebrows and want to take action.
That’s exactly what the two-page letter from PennEnvironment—a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization based in Philadelphia—does. Written by PennEnvironment’s director, David Masur, it taps into a prospect’s potential interests, immediately, in both a humorous and positive way:
“Let’s face it. The odds of George Bush and friends doing anything significant about global warming are about as good as the Pirates winning the World Series anytime soon …”
Then it quotes Gov. Ed Rendell and his “announcement that he plans ‘to make Pennsylvania a leader in addressing climate change,’” and asserts that “we’ve got the best chance ever to do our share to fight global warming right now.” Next, it quickly mentions some of the obstacles to this ambitious agenda, such as Big Coal, before saying that Rendell’s proposals are much more likely to get through when a wave of citizen support pushes them.
The letter continues in that fashion, laying out the steps in a no-nonsense, unhyped manner and treating the prospect with respect. “That’s how our organization talks about things. Here’s the facts; here’s what we’re doing. We think you’ll support us if you support this issue,” relates Jim Amspacher, the direct mail director at Penn-Environment. That plan is further outlined on the four-color brochure, which rides inside the #10 envelope, along with a reply card and BRE (Archive code #603-691421-0804).
PennEnvironment’s pre-vious prospecting letter discussed global warming and how bad things could get, but it didn’t click with the educated audience. “They already got it. They already knew it was a problem. They wanted to see real evidence that something could be done about it,” describes Amspacher.