Tuto­r­i­al 5: What’s all this talk about junk mail?

Mail open­ing in most house­holds is a time of great antic­i­pa­tion. And since the advent of email and elec­tron­ic com­mu­ni­ca­tions, the arrival of snail mail has become a high point of the day.

Written by
Jerry Huntsinger
February 24, 2019

You most likely know someone who laments that they no longer receive letter mail.

We are dealing here with a basic conditioned response mechanism because, in the past, mail has brought interesting and exciting news. This has happened so often in the life of an individual that, each day, they have the hope that once again something exciting will be left in their mailbox.

Opening the mail is a time of magic. Presto, your life may change!

Have you ever watched a person opening their mail and seen them hold a letter up to the light, especially if it is a cheque? Have you ever done this yourself? It’s really a little ridiculous not to just go ahead and rip the envelope open and see what’s inside.

This is a moment of magic. As you hold that envelope up to the light, you try to imagine what’s inside. It’s as if you were prolonging the anticipation and you really don’t want that moment of magic to come to an end.

As a professional you must be aware of this moment of magic and this sense of anticipation, because woe be unto your letters if they disappoint the reader and fail to stir excitement. If you let a reader down, then suddenly your package becomes junk mail. And that’s a fair definition of junk mail: disappointment.

So the thrill of opening the mail is a mixed blessing. And you had better go along with the magic routine, because if your package is not exciting or satisfying, you will have committed the sin of disappointing your donor.

Mail that disappoints is junk mail.

© SOFII Foundation 2010-2014.

About the author: Jerry Huntsinger

Jerry Huntsinger is revered in direct marketing circles as the dean of direct mail. 

Some years back Jerry gifted his archive of direct mail tutorials to SOFII and we’ve been serialising them ever since. All 50-plus are gems. Together, they add up to a complete ‘how-to’ guide to everything you need to know about direct mail fundraising.

These tutorials are edited and presented by Gwen Chapman.

Gwen_Chapman.jpg#asset:8990:urlGwen Chapman is a passionate advocate for donor-centric fundraising. She is a senior consultant with international experience in the non-profit sector in Canada, the United States, the UK and South Africa. She explains the importance to these tutorials here.

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