CJP employs invasive unmarked-envelope strategy in charity mailing

By | April 7, 2010

Dear Mr. [elided],

I enjoyed your recent letter about the direct and indirect ways in which CJP has positively affected your life. Many in the Jewish community don’t realize how pervasive and beneficial CJP’s influence is, and I think it is extremely valuable to occasionally remind people. Your letter was an especially persuasive and effective reminder.

Having said that, I have a minor complaint I would like to share with you. I expect the merchants and organizations which I support to respect people’s privacy. There is one particular marketing / PR strategy which demonstrates an overt lack of respect privacy, and I was very sorry to see that your letter employed it.

I am speaking of the tactic of sending promotional materials in unmarked envelopes, sometimes even with handwritten rather than printed addresses, in an effort to fool their recipients into thinking that they contain personal rather than promotional correspondence.

There is only one reason for an official letter from the CJP, on CJP letterhead, to be sent in an envelope without any CJP markings on it, and that is to circumvent the fact that some recipients will discard a marked envelope unopened. That is their right, and intentionally circumventing it is akin to a traveling salesman’s foot in the door. Frankly, it’s just plain rude.

I hope that the CJP will reconsider the use of this technique in the future.


Jonathan Kamens

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3 thoughts on “CJP employs invasive unmarked-envelope strategy in charity mailing

  1. jik Post author

    For what it’s worth, I got back a very nice apology this morning from the man who sent the letter. He said it was his personal decision to use the unmarked envelopes because he felt it would give the letters a “personal touch,” but after reading my letter to him, he agreed with my concerns and wouldn’t do it again.

  2. Anonymous

    I just won’t open anything without a return address….I can’t imagine anything coming in such an envelope that I would want to read.

    1. jik Post author

      Don’t people ever write you personal letters? Sometimes they forget or don’t bother to put a return address on the envelope, you know.


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