What’s in my Mailbox | Sierra Club: Only human response can fight imminent honeybee extinction

July 20, 2016


I recently opened my mailbox to find an envelope from Sierra Club, sent from their Oakland, CA office. It was of standard size but packed thick, and that’s what caught my attention second. What caught my attention first? The envelope itself. Because it’s not every day that I stumble across a bumblebee the size of a baby’s clenched fist. Hovering above the picture of the bee’s unfortunate carcass were the words BUZZ KILL in what I estimate to be 40-point font, all caps. And below that, a tagline in much smaller font: INSIDE: Why America’s honeybees are dying and how you can help!

And that’s just the envelope. You can see why I picked this piece first.

This is an acquisition piece and it basically has everything going on. First off, there’s the letter’s content, which includes some concise storytelling that kicks off on a sci-fi note and seamlessly segues its way into horror. No honey, strawberries, avocados, peaches, pumpkins, and over one hundred other fruits and veggies??? The devastating consequences of neonicotinoids on the honeybee population doesn’t just touch the beekeepers; it touches us all. Therein lies the urgency: save the honeybees today!

Second off, there’s the three-part call-to-action. Plant the seeds sent inside the mailing, help reach out to Congress by signing a petition to Nancy Pelosi, and commence your Club membership through gifting a perfectly reasonable $15 donation.

Then there’s the three-part response device, which is in itself a triple threat. The responder includes a membership card and urges me to join the Club now, a space to make my gift, along with an option of denominations, and lastly, an opportunity to petition Nancy Pelosi to use her power to fast-track the Saving America’s Pollinators Act of 2015 to prevent further damage to the honeybee population. Whew!

Last thing? Seeds, stickers, and flyers, oh my! One flyer spotlights a chance to choose between two different bags emblazoned with Sierra Club logo upon commencing my membership at introductory level. The other flyer delves into the details of the toxic relationship between neonicotinoids and honey bees in a way that is clear, logical, and accessible, free of scientific jargon. It’s prime time for seed planting, and I want nothing more than to go plant them right now. And the stickers aren’t just beautiful, featuring high-resolution photographs of my honey-making friends and foliage — they’re informative. On the back of the sticker pack are 7 reasons why one should join Sierra Club.

Is it any wonder how Sierra Club has climbed the nonprofit ranks and established itself as a formidable, mission-oriented worldwide environmental brand with mass appeal? Their direct mail communications are epic affairs worthy of far more space than a single blog post allows. But if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got seeds to plant, a donation to make, and a petition to sign!

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Click to download this pack.

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