What’s in my Mailbox | An ask in a thank you? It works!

March 16, 2016


My most recent donor communication from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is worth mentioning for a few reasons, and these reasons more than compensate for its one flaw.

Can you guess what that might be?

Yep, you’ve spotted it: Dear Friend. Yikes!

But let’s move on from that rocky opening. There’s a lot to appreciate here, and it goes beyond the fact that St. Jude’s is a renowned nonprofit juggernaut who has been engaged in doing amazing work for children since its inception in 1962.

To begin with, there’s the over-sized mailing envelope. Obviously, it’s the first thing you see, and for that reason, it creates an impression, especially when you’ve got a stack of mail to sift through. For me, a larger envelope stands out and instantly makes me curious about what might be inside.

Then, there’s the letter itself. I donate to their organization on a regular basis and they’ve segmented their donor-focused communications. So despite the fact that the letter isn’t personally addressed to me, it’s still personalized for me, the donor. From the very beginning, the level of gratitude that is expressed is strong. There are a handful of instances where particular language indicates not only gratitude, but personalization for St. Jude’s donors.

  1. “I can never thank you enough”
  2. “Because of you”
  3. “Thanks to your support”
  4. “Thanks to friends like you”
  5. “The support of friends like you”

The thanks goes beyond words alone, too. St. Jude has taken it further by including a Certificate of Appreciation.

The letter contains a powerful story of a little boy named Ty who endured a harrowing battle with brain cancer: 33 radiation treatments, 4 months of chemotherapy, and physical therapy post-surgery. Ty is alive today, and St. Jude’s, along with their dedicated supporters, helped Ty and other children battling pediatric cancer, as well as their families. Seeing the photo of Ty, an adorable, smiling little boy, gave me all kinds of feels. Yes, the level of feeling was strong on this one!

The many rights are enough to offset the initial, single misstep. I’m glad to know that St. Jude’s is able to continue their wonderful work, and I’m also glad that they maintain communication in order to tell me about it. Click on the certificate to download this package.

Have you ever donated to St. Jude’s, and if so, what’s your experience been with their direct mail?

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