Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Nature Conservancy, That's What You Call Yourself?

While sorting through paperwork, junk mail and legitimate mail at a client's house, we came across these two envelopes. They are two separate mailings to the client--one was addressed to her old name, one to her new name. The address was identical.
Let's examine the features of this mailing:
1) "Waste Not?" Really?
2) "Want Not?" No, I don't want to get this junk mail.
3) "Address Labels Enclosed" These things seem to multiply when you lock them in a dark drawer with free address labels from other charities. Many clients are overrun with these things. They nearly never get used fast enough to keep up with the influx, if ever.And on the back:
4) Their tag line at the top reads "Saving the last great places on earth" while using twice as many trees as necessary. I doubt this envelope is made from something easy to renew like bamboo.
5) "Free Gardener's Tote Bag", probably your "gift" for joining. It looks useful but is typical of the kind of stuff I see crammed in closets because it didn't magically turn the client's thumb green. Just say no to freebies. If it's free, it's not worth having!
6) "One of the world's most efficient and effective environmental organizations". So efficient they sent the letter twice.
7) "Recycled Paper" One out of 7 isn't so great.

The production value of this mailing shows they've got some bucks so why can't their database delete multiple entries for the same address? Why are they buying mailing lists that might lead to this unintentional excess? I guess they're ok with cutting more trees to process this white paper, if they can get more donations. In this case it didn't work.

Get rid of junk mail by generating form letters at New American Dream. Fill out the form and pay a buck to the Direct Marketing Association to get off their lists. Remove yourself from ADVO's list. Or join Greendimes--for a dime a day they'll stop junk mail and plant a tree for you.

Now that I've scanned in those envelopes I'm going to drop them in my mixed paper recycling bin.


Sue said...

Hi, I read your blog (thanks for the info you provide!) and also work at The Nature Conservancy. We take a lot of steps to keep our database up-to-date
in an effort to not send out extra mailings -- sending extra mail is the last thing we want to do!

But due to roommates or different family members in the same household both having individual memberships, we do on occasion have multiple members we
must contact separately living at the same address.

Where this is not that case, please let us know the correct information so we can update our records. Please send this information to our Member Care
team at membership@tnc.org. Thanks for your help!

Kerry Crocker said...

Thanks for sharing this information. I have sent the request to the email address you provided.

Also, unfortunately somebody has to be made an example of. This time it was the Nature Conservancy. But you've redeemed yourself.

Now, can you print on paper made from bamboo or what? ;]

Sue said...

Thanks Kerry -- we do keep looking into ways to improve our efforts more and more -- so you never know what's around the corner. Thanks again!