The main objective was to find a high-impact direct mail technique that would produce a high open rate and high average gift. To achieve this, TLC created the Vaccine Vial Appeal.
Design: The package format was a white box containing a letter, reply form, and return envelope. Most notable, the package contained a medical-grade glass vial; an exact replica of the vial that would contain the true vaccine once the goal was met.
Including the glass vial served two important purposes:
- The vial created a lot of noise inside the box and made opening the package irresistible. Since the it wasn’t adhered to anything or wrapped in any protective materials, the 1-inch vial freely bounced and rattled around the inside of the 6 x 9 x 2 cardboard box.
- The vial is a distinct object that immediately conveyed the gravity of the mission – creating a medical cure.
The letter and reply forms featured large images of the vaccine vial overlaid with a chart that measured ALM’s fundraising progress to support the Phase 1 clinical trials. The progress chart indicated that the organization was well over half-way to their goal, which provided an incentive for donors that the target goal was within reach.
Messaging: Messaging was thoughtfully crafted throughout the package, starting with the shipping box. Affixed to the outside of the box was a sticker with a teaser that read: Do Not Discard – Hope Enclosed. The use of the word “Hope” was imperative, as ALM donors are conditioned to respond to this copy and language when referring to their ability to help others through Christ. Overall package messaging used on the letter and reply forms included references to a “Matching Challenge Grant” to inspire a higher average
gift from donors.
Audience: This package was specifically targeted to American Leprosy Missions’ donor house file. Understanding the organization’s revenue target in addition to the high cost of the package, this piece was mailed to 0-24 Month donors who had a highest previous contribution (HPC) of their lifetime on the file of $250 or more. Delving deeper, donors who had given 1 or more gifts to Direct Mail were included in addition to those who had not given previously through the Direct Mail channel (i.e. Digital and Phone Donors).