Post-It Note Trumps the Call
When readers open this reminder letter sent by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., the first thing that catches their attention is probably the personalized, yellow sticky note bearing a message that appears to be handwritten (Archive code #604-171950-0605A). The note states that AICR will be telephoning donors in the area who have not renewed their support. “A contribution at this time may save us the cost of a phone call,” it concludes.
While the strategy may appeal to readers’ desires to avoid receiving yet another telemarketing call, the message indicates there was a monetary benefit for AICR to not have to make a call. Is that the case? Does the cost of the fundraising call outweigh the expense of the personalized sticky note?
According to Kelly Browning, the organization’s executive vice president, the answer is yes.
“There is an additional cost of using the sticky note, but the cost is small compared to that of a telephone call,” he says. “We tested the wording of the note, and it increased response enough to justify the additional cost of the sticky itself, its attachment to the mailing and the match step in the process.”
But this strategy is not new for AICR. Browning reports that the nonprofit has utilized this technique consistently over the past 10 years. “In fact, I believe there are two packages that use the sticky notes as well as the reminder technique, and there is another that uses just the reminder theme,” he says.
The elements of this mailing include a plain, white #10 outer envelope with the recipient’s address set in the same handwriting font as the sticky note, a red “REMINDER” stamp, and the words “Recorded Correspondence” under the return address. Inside is the reminder letter bearing the yellow sticky note in the upper right-hand corner.