Personalized Doggy Tag
When the Who's Mailing What! Archive received a donor acquisition mailing from The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in June that included a doggy-and-kitty photo album, we knew right away that "personalization" was the new name of its game (610HUSOUS0603B).
Visible through an oversized poly window on the 6" x 8" outer envelope was a 12-sheet photo albumideal for 4" x 6" snapshotswith banner copy at the top that reads: "The Follin Family." On the back of the album, HSUS lists "7 Steps To A Happier Pet." Some of the nonprofit's suggestions: "Make sure your pet wears an identification tag to enable him to be returned to you if lost," and " ... Make sure your pet has a complete medical exam by a veterinarian at least once a year."
Quite a hefty freemium from the animal rights nonprofit.
"You see, I want to be absolutely certain that you received your personalized HSUS Photo Albumbecause it is being sent to you as a free gifta 'thank you' for taking the time to read my letter and considering becoming a member of the HSUS today," the opening paragraph of the letter reads. "Together we can help save innocent animals from cruelty and death ... I certainly hope you will use The HSUS Photo Album. I wanted to be sure to get it to you in time for summer."
The mailing's ultimate goal is to raise funds for the nonprofit's Summer 2003 Anti-Cruelty Campaign, which the copywriter highlights often throughout the letter. And, on the donor card, The Humane Society goes so far as to write out a response from the prospective donor in advance: "Yes, I safely received my personalized HSUS Photo Album. Thank you for sending it to meit will come in handy this summer ... "
Photo albums may be new for HSUS, but not for nonprofits. According to the Archive, there are not many active proponents of the photo album as a freemium, but in a March 2002 appeal from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the fund-raiser featured a 10-sheet photo albumalso ideal for 4" x 6" snapshotswith an image of a coastal scene and the accompanying copy: "My photos." MADD's effort was seemingly identical to this one from HSUS, minus the personalization.
The task for HSUS was a relatively simple one. All it had to do to give its photo album a personal feel is hand-insert a pre-printed card with the family names of its campaign mailing list. The photo albums were blank with a handy sleeve for 41/2" x 61/4" cards for the front and back.
The photo album can be quite costlyespecially if it tips the weight of the mailing into a higher postage ratebut its perceived value and effectiveness at driving response may be worth the additional bucks. One should consider that most every prospect with pets has a bevy of furry feline or canine photos to store. And, with the HSUS information printed on the back of the album, keepers of this freemium are continually reminded of the nonprofit's mission.
Address labels and notepads run out. This freemium has some longevity.