Friday, May 15, 2009

Personal Letters are Sorely Missed

In the apartment compound where I live (in Marikina, Philippines), we have this common mailbox. I open this mailbox as often as I can. Can you guess what I see? I think you know the answer, credit card bills, utility bills, demand letter from creditors, and more bills.

There is probably like 12 doors in our compound and we all use this one mailbox. And since I do the direct mail fundraising program at CBN Asia, I seed my name on our mailing list so I will know how long it takes for the letter to arrive on our mailbox. BTW, posts from Makati City to Marikina City usually takes between, get ready for this, two days to five days!

Our ministry's letter is the only letter that does not look like a statement of account in our mailbox. It is so sad. People just aren't writing letters anymore. People are not rushing to their mailbox eagerly awaiting correspondence from their loved ones, because they know that all that they will see is the reminder that their budget will soon disappear. Which put Philippine non-profit organizations, in my personal opinion, in a very advantageous position.

Who do we ask support from? And who acts on your call for help? Probably people in their 30's or 40's who grew up receiving love letters (written on Sanrio stationery with strawberry scent) and correspondence from relatives in the provinces or abroad. Yes, email is a lot more convenient and faster, but a large portion of our population do not have easy access to computers and the internet. Yes, you can put up blogs, but you will not easily know if they are coming and seeing your campaign. Whereas your mail, if creatively done, will pique the interest of your reader and would eventually open it up. They may not open immediately but they can put it (aside from the trash can) in a table or cabinet tops to be opened later. Your email? Its gonna buried in the tons of spam that inundates your email software's inbox in a few short hours.

And their is one advantage of snail mail that email cannot compete with, the interaction and tactile feeling of paper. With paper you feel something, you smell something, there is a sort of mystery behind it. Email? You may have people passing up on your message they are so tired at looking at a computer screen inside their cubicle.

Did I make my point? On Monday, I'll make a case for, you guessed it, email fundraising.

God bless!

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