Grand Control of the Month: Easter Seals
The 2010 Drive, the latest mailing by Easter Seals to reach Grand Control status (mailed for three years or more) has a lot more going for it than mere longevity. In the mail since at least January 2007, this campaign (Archive code #604-180006-1001, see thumbnails), at first glance, resembles a previous "free gifts" effort that was mailed from 2000 to 2005.
Let's start with the most obvious similarities, beginning with the in-line produced 8-1/2" x 9-1/2" carrier envelope. Across its front is emblazoned the addressee's name, and the greeting, "ENCLOSED ARE YOUR FREE GIFTS." Inside, in addition to the letter and reply form, both have a cornucopia of freemiums: a sheet of name & address labels, a sheet of colorful "Easter Seals" flower stickers, and a pack of bookmarks, note sheets, and a calendar.
However, the "Drive" mailing ups the ante over the previous mailing in several important ways. First, the outer includes a plea, "Your help is needed to support vital Easter Seals programs in [name of state]," alongside a map icon of the addressee's state. So, early on, the potential donor is being put on notice that he will be asked for a donation, and that in some way, his own state will benefit. Next, besides additional incentives — another sticker sheet and a stand-alone calendar — the envelope includes a personalized, gold-bordered "Certificate of Appreciation," measuring 7" x 7". It's a direct appeal to flattery, thanking the donor for his"generous contribution" to "provide programs and services for people with disabilities and their families."
Another important addition to the mailing is a personalized one-page lift letter by James E. Williams, Jr., the President & CEO of Easter Seals. In the Johnson Box, he notes that "Last year, Easter Seals helped over one million children and adults," and in the body of the letter, he briefly spells out some of the services provided: "Therapy, training, education and support services." The value of "a gift in any amount you can afford" is affirmed; it "will help people become as independent as possible, and lead more fulfilling, rewarding lives."