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SAMPLE SOLUTION #3 “School Logo Envelope”

About the Solution

Sample Solution #3: School Logo Envelope (with video!)

(This is just a sample, posted by USDA to generate discussion.)


Applewood school district has had a hard time getting parents to respond to verification letters and staff are concerned that students who should be getting free meals are having to either pay full price for meals or not eat at all because their families didn’t respond.  One night shortly after the start of the school year, Frieda, who has worked at Applewood for years, mentioned her concerns to a friend over dinner.  As they talked, one of them casually mentioned that the letters the schools mailed home were probably just tossed out with the junk mail because they blended in with all the other mail families get every day. And from that comment, an idea was born!  What if the schools put some effort into designing a colorful envelope, maybe with the school logo as the return address and accented with school colors?  That might just get the parents to notice the envelope as something important rather than tossing it. Applewood was just getting ready to send the verification letters to the selected families, and Frieda decided to test the idea.  She found a print company that could custom make the envelopes for her, so she ordered a couple of boxes.  She then sent half the verification letters in her custom envelope and half in the old envelope.  She then made a note next to each family’s name indicating which letter they had received and waited to see if her plan would make a difference in response rate. And what a difference it made!  Families that got the new envelope were almost two times more likely to respond to the verification request and often responded after only one contact.

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