Ocean Con­ser­van­cy: mem­ber­ship drive

Exhibited by
Mal Warwick.
June 20, 2011
Medium of Communication
Direct mail.
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Environmental / animals.
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance

SOFII’s view

In fundraising via direct mail, attempts to better a control pack (also known as beating the banker pack) are always interesting and usually instructive. This pack from Ocean Conservancy exemplifies much of dm fundraising best practice but the exhibit will be more instructive if you look at it alongside the original control pack, which it beat.

Summary / objectives

With response rates in its donor acquisition efforts in decline, the Ocean Conservancy, a major US environmental organisation, sought a new package to test against its long-standing control. This package was the result and it lifted response significantly.


A significant improvement over the previous control, so maybe offering free goodies is not as powerful as an urgent appeal for the cause.


This is an excellent example of contemporary direct mail donor acquisition in the USA at its best. It’s both well-written and well-designed and its success in the marketplace attests to its effectiveness.

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A colourful pack with a neat underlying idea.
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The earlier Oceans Conservancy acquisition control package which was beaten by the main exhibit. Interestingly, like many North American acquisition mailing pieces, this pack seems to be more about free labels and clothing than about the cause – not something that could be said of the pack that beat the banker. Normally SOFII is not all that keen on free address labels. We worry that surely any potential donor in the USA must have more than enough of these sticky labels to wallpaper their entire house and probably the rest of their street too. But aren’t the chunky stickers opposite really rather attractive? Is it just SOFII that wants some?