Anatomy of a Control: World Wildlife Foundation
Nothing speaks to a prospective donor or customer like an involvement device. Most people seem to find surveys, quizzes and free gift choices advertised both online and in direct mail irresistible.
Involvement devices work because they make consumers and constituents feel important, as if their choices or opinions matter and will make an impact on the company or organization they're responding to. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) capitalizes on the involvement technique in its long-standing calendar control mailing.
Sent to prospective and previous members, the 9" x 12" package gets recipients involved from the beginning, with an offer to vote for next year's calendar cover on the front of the outer. On the back of the outer, headline copy and photographs advertise the prospect's choice between three WWF branded premiums—three lunch totes, two water bottles or a golf umbrella. "The more involvement you give your donor, the better your mailing will do," says Antoinette Dack, director of membership marketing for the Washington, D.C.-based organization.
WWF has been mailing a calendar control package for more than 17 years, but the current incarnation, with multiple premium choices and a vote for the cover, has been mailing for four years and has improved response.
Both the premium and calendar cover choices operate with sticker involvement devices, which donors can peel and place on the reply form to indicate their preferences. Donors can find the premium stickers attached to the top right-hand side of the two-page letter. Stickers for the 2011 calendar cover image are located on one of the package's buckslips.
An oversized reply form, perforated to the bottom edge of the letter, has enough room for all the donor's gift information, plus stickers for the premium and calendar cover choices. WWF began testing the larger reply form about four years ago. "We needed more room for the placement of the stickers ... and we tend to notice that the more white space there is and the bigger [donors] can write, the better," Dack details.