Friday, 25 February 2011

My lovely virtual bear hug...

This is the wonderful 'thank you' communication I received from WSPA. A Bear's life saved because of my support.

On my 'tingle o metre' it ranked pretty high. It brought a tear to my eye, a smile to my face and a sense of pride in what had been achieved for Chowti and the other bears who have been saved from a life of pain and misery.

So what was it about this card that genuinely moved me? And it did. After all, it is clearly a mass produced card, it arrived in a standard windowed C5 envelope, the back of the card was the address carrier - no handwritten outer. On the surface of it, you'd think that actually it wouldn't 'feel' that special, but it was.

Here's why:
  • It was unexpected. Not the success per se - but as I often receive appeals from WSPA and updates through their supporter magazine, I wasn't expecting this stand alone piece relaying this great news. Unexpected and welcome.
  • The execution of it. Despite listing the things above that could be seen to detract from the personal nature of the piece I actually liked the fact that it was a good, honest piece of direct mail. At the end of the day the strongest and most important element about it was the story and the transformation that WSPA and supporters like me had helped bring about. The creative show cased that brilliantly.
  • The photograph of Chowti on the front said it all - beautiful image of a beautiful creature freed from its tormentors. A great photograph paints a thousand words and this one certainly did.
  • It was a 'thank you' and nothing else - not a thank you and... or a thank you but... just a thank you and as I have mentioned before that it is quite a rare thing.
  • It was supporter focused. From the thank you strap line on the envelope, headline on the card, and the short but emotive copy inside. It was about me, the supporter. This came across loud and clear but also sounded very heartfelt. After all, It is easy enough to re-focus copy to include a few more 'yous' than you would normally do but it takes more than that to make it sound genuine and genuinely supporter focused.
  • I opened it and read it - and this is probably the most important point. That is how I know the copy was donor focused and a heartfelt thank you, that the photo was lovely. And that Chowti is now free from pain a suffering.
So why did I open and read it? Since picking up the telephone many year's ago in response to their TV ad, I have never been disappointed. I signed up because I wanted to help end the torture and torment of animals - particularly the bear in the ad. Since then I have never doubted their commitment to what they were 'selling'. They are delivering on what I signed up is as simple as that.

So of course the elements above that made the piece itself great are a good starting point, the harder part is obviously getting such communications opened in the first place. And to do that we need to ensure that we are doing what we say we will and proving it - from recruitment all the way through the on-going communications.

The card now occupies pride of place on my dresser - with photos of my family, friends and baby son. That is how much I loved it.

Thank you for stopping by!

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