The October mailstream teemed with nonprofits, some of which relied on great copy to capture attention from prospects while others sprinkled some new approaches into their control mailings. In terms of trendspotting, the National Wildlife Federation not only sent out a 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 self-mailer (a very rare format in fundraising mail), but also tries mightily to push renewing members to the Web. “Renew NOW, renew ONLINE … and help protect America’s wildlife from global warming and other threats,” reads the back. On the front, in order to claim a premium for free (a stuffed penguin toy), it gives an online renewal deadline (Archive code #610-171764-0710A).
Getting members back in the fold is always an awkward challenge, but the Nature Conservancy has come up with a clever reacquisition #7 effort, termed “membership reinstatement.” Personalized on the response form and letter, which are perfed together, the copy is also substantially more respectful and “you-oriented” than we’re used to seeing in renewal mailings (Archive code #603-172397-0710A).
On the other hand, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) points the finger at the lapsed member on the #7 outer itself, with a rather strong teaser, “I’m so disappointed you’re not renewing your Membership …” in large, bold letters. The “I” is NRDC’s president, whose name sits in the corner card and who also writes the letter inside. That letter starts equally strong, but then successfully tells the former member that their “support has meant a great deal to us” and goes on to make a very personal appeal that may bring them back into the fold (Archive code #603-171943-0710).
The Paralyzed Veterans of America use a standard nickel mailing, but with a couple of neat twists. On the back of the BRC, they’ve put a Post-it note reminding the prospect to “return the enclosed nickel—we need every nickel to assist vets in desperate need!” Also, timed with Veterans Day, they provide a card that the prospect can sign and enclose with the reply form, which will go to a paralyzed veteran (Archive code #604-171930-0710C).