The fat envelope with a tote bag inside (Part 2)

Yesterday we looked at the front of this outer envelope for a direct-mail acquisition piece mailed by Doctors Without Borders.

Here’s the back of the envelope:

DWBOEback

To state the obvious, every envelope has two sides. Both are likely to be seen. If the recipient has even a vague inclination to open it, they’ll spend more time seeing the back than the front. It’s smart to use that real estate.

But here’s the interesting thing: This envelope literally contains a tote bag. It’s a thick envelope, quite unlike most others in the mailbox.

You might be worried about the high cost of sending tote bags to a rented list of prospective donors. The “Made in China” tells us they’re doing their best to control the cost, but it is no doubt quite a bit more expensive than a “normal” direct mail pack. What makes it work is a very good response rate. More people are responding to it.

If you want to try something like this, I have just one warning: Putting your organization name on the tote bag (or almost any item) is probably not a good idea. If you have a brand presence like Doctors Without Borders, maybe. The rest of us: Think “pretty.” Think what you mom would like on a tote bag. Logo-wear only works for a few organizations.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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