Greenpeace UK: their cycle of renewal and reactivation mailings, the ‘countdown’ and ‘please and thank-you’ packs

Exhibited by
October 26, 2009
Medium of Communication
Direct mail
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Environmental / animals
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance

SOFII’s view

The two mailings shown here form part of Greenpeace UK’s renewal mailings cycle from the late 1980s. Each pack is short, punchy and based around a simple theme, encapsulated in a single word. For the recipient, it becomes increasingly apparent that Greenpeace is not going to let them go easily. The producers of these mailings at the time did wonder if some people might be holding off their renewal, waiting to see what would come next.

Creator / originator

Burnett Associates working with Annie Moreton and Charlotte Grimshaw at Greenpeace UK.

Summary / objectives

This exhibit is part of a series of increasingly strident requests to donors, to renew their support for the coming year and, more importantly, to switch to an automated payment method.


Each mailing in the series focuses specifically on an aspect of Greenpeace’s work or personality that Greenpeace UK believed would have strong appeal with its supporters. The first mailing after the irrefutable logic and utility of the ‘sign-it and forget-it’ mailing is an exaggerated please and thank-you request designed to make supporters aware of the cost of this process, as well as its value and importance to Greenpeace. If you manage to resist this you won’t be off the hook, not by a long way., The ‘please and thank-you’ pack is followed by the much more serious ‘countdown to catastrophe’ message, which focuses on the big issues Greenpeace exists to combat. The same theme is reinforced much more starkly in the ‘STOP’ pack. This then leads to the penultimate mailing in the series, which focuses on the rather surprising single thing that is the biggest threat of all to Greenpeace.

Special characteristics

The series is carefully constructed around several single words, each of which involves a powerful call to action and which are presented in a very Greenpeace way.


Results are not available but this series worked much harder than the renewal series it replaced.


The entire series is a good example of an important fundraising mechanism in the process of being replaced by a better way of doing things.

Other relevant information

Please contact Carolina if you can add any detail to this exhibit.

View original image
Above, the countdown mailing, a serious call to action before it is to late. But you only get this urgent renewal call if you’ve failed to respond first to the initial, practical ‘forget-it’ pack and then, about a month later, to the charmingly polite ‘please and thank- you’ postcard request, below. The insides of the countdown envelope, above, are shown below the please and thank-you packs.