What Publishers Clearing House Can Teach Collectors

Learn from the pros how to
make the best use of that
real estate on your envelope!

Love ’em or hate ’em, there’s no doubt what’s in your mailbox.

PCH knows how to use every inch of an envelope (front AND back). You get their message long before you start to tear open that flap separating you and an almost-guaranteed jackpot.

(No, I haven’t received my giant cardboard check yet, either…)

Collector Dan Brunetti’s success with Alan Trammell got me thinking. There’s so much space on that two-sided envelope.

Why not summarize what your letter’s about? The best letter in the world doesn’t work if it’s unread.

For instance:

“Was At Your 1st Game!”

“Saw 3 HR Game, 2004.”

“Fellow Alabama native.”

Does the player speak more than one language? Add a brief non-English “good luck” or related greeting.

I’ve never felt that “Payment enclosed” on the envelope is a good idea. Keep the added notation about the person, not the process.

Most of all, be honest. If your envelope enticement doesn’t match your letter and contents, get ready for life in the recycling bin.

Sadly, some current and former players may be seeking reasons not to read your letter. Your envelope is competing with a mountain of fan mail for someone’s attention. Take your best swing.

Decoding Alan Trammell

A selective hitter
and signer
these days!

Congrats to collector Dan Brunetti.

After getting one of the increasing rejections by Alan Trammell (card returned unsigned in the SASE), Dan tried again.

“I sent the second time in a big yellow envelope.  I wrote “2nd attempt” on the back of the envelope so he might see it when he opened it.”

Studying the recording attempts and rejections for a problematic signer like Trammell (whose autograph attitudes seem to have taken a U-turn beginning in 2010 as a Cubs coach), can be done easily with a source like www.sportscollectors.net.

However, the time comes when you have to make your own game plan. Everyone is different. Time of the year (in- or off-season) may matter, too. Even retirees can be busier in summer.

The moral of this story is to keep hope. Don’t risk losing a valuable card from your collection. Yet, figure out a way to stand out from the other requests, and you may be smiling like Dan.

Coming Monday: Baseball’s most inspirational broadcaster?

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