Direct Mail Spotlight: Save the Children
When someone says, “Less is more,” no matter what the context is, it usually implies a negative reaction. What is the speaker really trying to say?
Less is more can be a euphemism for many statements, such as “Black is slimming, so take off that plaid shirt,” or “Since we can’t afford a flat screen, let’s save money and go with a tube television.”
The same meaning rings true for direct mail designers. If a direct mailer qualifies a creative effort with the phrase “less is more,” are they describing a winning mailing or a cost-cutting bore? In the case of Save the Children’s latest triple postcard effort, the maxim is positive and effective.
Save the Children’s Charitable Gift Annuity Mailing may lack in bells and whistles but remains a strong example of a self-mailer that works. Sent to 40,000 previous and prospective donors in October, it is already winning against the charity’s fatiguing #10 package of a letter, brochure and response form. “We started to get to the point where the last two times we did a traditional package, we really didn’t have much of a response at all,” says Cyndee DiLeo, associate director of planned giving with the organization’s Westport, Conn.–based office.
Save the Children worked with an outside designer to create the standard triple postcard. The outer has teaser copy and a photograph of a smiling child, but does not give away the nature of the contents inside. The interior is a long, vertical layout with a perforated, postage-paid response card at the bottom (Archive Code #613-172763-0711).
Inside the mailer, a large photograph of a mother and child helps convey the simple message, “A Charitable Gift Annuity will increase your income today and help children tomorrow.” A second photograph on the reply card features a smiling child and a thank you. In addition to the compelling photography, there is a “How It Works” flow chart in the middle of the layout, which explains where the donor’s gift goes and how this benefits all parties.