Put Your Freemium on the Outside
The Sacred Heart Auto League, a nonprofit organization that promotes safe and prayerful driving, was conceived in 1954. People may be familiar with the organization because it created the popular Jesus statues that have graced the dashboards of cars across America for many years. Currently, the Sacred Heart Auto League has switched to a slightly more subtle method for people to show their membership. The nonprofit is now mailing a small, cardboard emblem with an adhesive back that members can affix to their dashboard. The emblem has a holographic finish and a picture of Jesus on it, but what really makes it stand out is that it was housed in a little pocket on the outside of the mailing's outer envelope.
The 41/2" x 81/2" envelope displays the emblem in a pocket with a clear front so prospects can see the freemium without even opening the package (609SACHAL0201). Inside the envelope is a letter, a membership enrollment form, a small wallet-size calendar, an offer for a key ring premium if you donate $15 or more, and a reply envelope. The enrollment form states that the money contributed will help continue the "apostolic works" of the Sacred Heart Auto League.
According to Mark Ratay, media communications manager for the League, displaying the freemium has added value, because people see exactly what they're getting. He says it may encourage recipients to go inside the envelope and find out more about the services of the League. The method has proved to be successful; it is the control package for the League and has been circulating for seven or eight years.
Ratay says the outside pocket carrier is designed by Tension Envelope Company in Kansas City, MO, and the emblems are machine insertable. This eliminates the added cost of hand-insertiona vital
savings on the five million of these packages the League mails each year. The nonprofit changes the artwork on the outer envelope, as well as the emblem design, every 12 months to 18 months.
Aside from appealing to people's sense of guilt by giving them something for free, the letter appeals to their sense of unity. It reads, "The most important benefit of membership in the Sacred Heart Auto League, though, is a remembrance of all members in the Mass celebrated every day. And like hundreds of thousands of other members, you can feel proud of belonging to a group of committed Catholics who see the value of dedicating a routine but important task to the glory of God."
This package is strictly an acquisition mailing that goes out to rented lists of Catholic households. "It's for replacing donors who go off file for lack of contributing, or they moved and left no forwarding address," says Ratay. The campaign pulls about a 31/2% response rate from the rented names.