June 20th, 2020

What makes an effective direct mail piece? One type of success allows for consumer interaction such as a visit to the store, a phone call, website visit or mailing something back to the sender. The American Legion is a non-profit organization that serves the needs of veterans and their families and promotes patriotism. They sent out a recent mailer that was looking for a certain type of consumer interaction. Let’s take a closer look.

Format: The mailer consisted of a 10” x13” envelope that held a two sided letter, a one-sided notice on yellow 60# offset and a two sided appeal with the appeal, a #9 return envelope, a survey and personalized self-addressed mailing labels on one side and a listing of what the American Legion does on the other side along with a continuation of the survey. The document was 11” x 17” and folded in half with perforations to separate the mailing labels and also the appeal section. The yellow sheet was specifically geared towards making people understand how Covid-19 was impacting veterans and an emotional appeal to people’s heartstrings to make a donation.

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Design: One of the most interesting aspects of this mailer was the envelope. It was printed in a full solid of orange on both sides and had a pull tab to open. Both the solid orange and the pull tab are unusual so combined it made for a very interesting piece.

American Legion

Printing & Paper: There were not any special printing techniques used, the stock was heavy enough and the mailer arrived in good condition.

Presentation: Loved the pull tab on the envelope. The envelope also had extra wording all in caps above the address section: 2020 Coconut Creek Area Survey Enclosed. This gave the end user an idea of what was inside the envelope. The mailing labels are kept by the recipient and back up “What the American Legion Does” information sheet. This is a great idea to keep the mission of the American Legion in front of the prospective donor.

American Legion

Purpose: The American Legion is using this mailer for several purposes: 1.) gain insight by sending a survey about patriotism and government, 2.) extend an appeal to consumers to send a gift to support veterans and wounded troops and 3.) promote the good the American Legion does in the community.

Offer and Call to Action: The offer was personalized mailing labels and the call to action was to fill out a survey and/or send in a gift.

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Digital technology integration: None. One suggestion for American Legion is to include a QR code that would take the end user to a donor page or to a page that illustrates how veterans are being helped by the organization.

Personalization: The two-sided appeal was personalized – both on the appeal itself as well as the mailing labels.

Covid-19 has clearly hurt non-profits. The American Legion tried to leverage the impact of Covid-19 on vets in their appeal. The direct mail campaign included many best practices and opportunities for consumer interaction.