Testing Equals Success for Catholic Relief Services
When you're trying to "rev up your response," as copywriter Pat Friesen once put it, testing various bells and whistles can make a big difference. That's one of the keys to the success and evolution of the "EMERGENCY APPEAL" package for Catholic Relief Services. It's been in the mail for over seven years, one of over 1,500 Grand Control mailings (in the mail for three years or more) cataloged by Who's Mailing What!
Because CRS is the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community, the guardian angel medallion pictured on the front of the #10 carrier (see the first image in the mediaplayer) seems to perfectly represent the secular and sacred nature of the group's mission.
A single line of copy on the front of the original version only teased about its presence inside the package: "Special Gift Inside ..." but according to Emily Anderson, CRS's director of annual giving, "We rely on testing and subsequent analysis to inform us on the design of this and any package that we're putting in mail. Each and every decision regarding the control was made based on test results that indicated which choice would garner the best response." In 2007, a large illustration of the medal became the new standard element on the outer.
Inside the envelope, the medal was moved from a spot-glued position on the reply form to its own insert (see the second image in the mediaplayer). A traditional Roman Catholic prayer on the card, "Angel of God," helps make the connection between faith and action for the contributor. And, here again, testing and research have played a significant role. "Our donors do not want a lot of 'stuff,'" Anderson says, "they want their donation to go to work overseas."
She continues, "The medallion allows us to provide our donors with a mission-based token of their faith and commitment to the organization and the people we serve, while allowing us to be good stewards of the funds that they entrusted to us."
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