Dialogue marketing

To win over donors today, relevant content and clear messages are what matter.Ivo FellerDialogue Marketing Consultant

Swiss Ornithological Institute Sempach makes paper owls fly

The Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach monitors, researches and cares for Switzerland’s native birds. Their creative mailing with a brochure and an arts-and-crafts sheet proved extremely popular – and yielded 5,000 new donors.

Who could resist the look? An owl with big, round eyes hit the emotional bullseye among the recipients of a mailing from the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach. The bird graced the cover of an information brochure, including an integrated payment slip, sent by the bird conservationists to 1.5 million households throughout German-speaking Switzerland in the spring of 2018. To help recipients make the origami owl enclosed, a video tutorial was available on a specially created webpage. Families who stopped by at the institute’s visitor center with their origami owl received a free drink for the children. In addition to new donors, the senders were also hoping to attract additional visitors to Sempach.

Emotional appeal with a physical mailing

The mailing was a complete success. “With a response rate of almost 0.4 percent, we were able to gain more than 5,000 new donors,” says Matthias Kestenholz, marketing director and deputy chairman of the management board of the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach. “We are very satisfied and hope that our new patrons will remain loyal to us for a long time to come.” As a private charitable foundation, the Swiss Ornithological Institute – which was founded in 1924 and employs more than 100 people – relies on donations from the public.

“To attract attention and win over donors as an aid organization today, relevant content and clear messages are what matter,” says Dialogue Marketing Consultant Ivo Feller, commenting on the success of the physical mailing. “And if you give recipients of donation mailings a positive emotional experience from the moment they open the envelope, you create goodwill right from the outset.”

Carbon-neutral consignments

Sorting and transporting letters, parcels and goods produces CO2 emissions. These can be offset with the “pro clima” mailing option. Business and private customers pay a surcharge of just a few centimes for each consignment. Swiss Post invests these surcharges in high-quality climate protection projects at home and abroad. It also sends all domestic letters and PromoPost consignments mailed by customers carbon-neutrally, covering the surcharges itself. Swiss Post also uses “pro clima” for all of its own consignments.