Creative Cautionary Tips
Larry Montali on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
When it comes to creative in your direct mail
fundraising, sometimes what seems like a great idea may not turn out to be.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating your next fundraising appeal:
To tease or not to tease?
Teasers on the outer envelope that refer
directly to the offer/ benefit, or alert the donor about the free gift or
member card inside often work best. If you’re just including a teaser to be
clever, skip it. Your copy must be extremely provocative for this kind of
teaser to work – and testing proves it usually doesn’t. “Blind” carriers – those without teaser
copy or logos – often are the ones that win, especially in acquisition or for
organizations without high brand awareness.
Caution with inserts
Have a great new insert you’re considering to
include in your package – brochure, lift note, recent news article? Make sure
you test with and without the insert.
While an insert might provide great additional information about your
mission – they also might depress response. It’s counter-intuitive, but I’ve
seen it happen too many times.
Focus on the big idea and not the
Too often in the world
of direct response fundraising, fancy design gets in the way of what it
you’re really trying to accomplish: convincing a donor that the
non-profit’s mission is worthy of her support. I’ve found that a clean,
simple layout almost always wins
over something that’s flashy and over-designed (usually distracting from
readability of the piece). At the
end of the day, the job of creative is to create revenue – not beauty.
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Conversion Contest Winner Selected
Rod Taylor on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
received many great entries into our recent contest where we asked
readers to submit their best ideas for converting new donors into multi
gift donors. At this time of year when most organizations are doing
their heaviest new donor acquisition drives we thought it was a good
time to gather ideas on the best strategies for converting new donors.
fact, we got so many good ideas we couldn’t select just one. So we’ve
decided to award two winners. Both entries shared specific strategies
that work for their organizations. One contest winner nailed the basics.
The other came up with a unique approach that our experts thought was
sure to work.
And the winners are….
Stanton Cadow (St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary/Boynton Beach, FL)
assume something you write in the second appeal letter will be read.
Understanding this, and the idea you will need to do something extra
special to get their attention, do the following:
Within 48 hours of the first gift, the regular thank you and gift
acknowledgement letter should go out. An industry standard yes, but not
always followed. The carrier envelope should indicate some place on
its outside, preferably on the front, a big “Thank you for your
support.” Print in red or a contrasting color of your design.
When you have good reason to believe that letter has been received,
place a personal thank you call to that donor, preferably using
volunteers, students, etc. Give them a script, but make it such that
the call sounds, “unscripted,” thus increasing the genuineness of the
If you have not been able to capture a phone number, have those same
volunteers write a hand written thank you, again, using a script. Mail
first class, with the return address on the back envelope, thus
increasing your open rate.
4. These steps will most certainly increase future appeal conversion rates.
Barbara Kehl (Wesley Community and Health Center/Phoenix, AZ)
Community Center encompasses many programs. We have afterschool
programs, a health clinic and a facility for ESL classes among other
services. So my suggestions are in line with those issues.
When approaching new donors consider making a plea for specific needs
such as clinic supplies, band aids, flu vaccines, afterschool
scholarships, garden supplies, ESL workbooks, etc.
When a new donor donates, an immediate and special thank you can be
sent along with a current newsletter or annual report and a confirmation
of how many flu vaccines the money provided and a note of continued
needs, with an envelope for sending another donation.
Our nonprofit qualifies for the Tax credit so encouraging another
donation by the end of the year for maximizing the Tax Credit can be
addressed especially for Nov. donors.
hope you’ll learn from these two great submissions and improve your own
new donor conversion strategies. Thanks to all who entered the contest
and if you didn’t win… better luck next time!
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