Direct Mail Fail – Alumni Acquisition Package

The minute I saw this envelope I knew the package was doomed.  The OE (outer envelope) had a huge flaw. Unfortunately, the OE wasn’t the only thing wrong with this piece. There were three significant problems with this appeal. 1. Dirty data. This mailing is addressed to my wife. Sort of. You see, my wife’s […]

Plan your direct mail as a continuity strategy (Tip #29)

Think of direct mail fundraising as a program, not an uncoordinated set of mailings you send throughout the year.  Plan your mail program out annually, calendaring out each activity (extra points if you’re using an integrated calendar that shows what you’re doing each month in every channel you have activated). Let each appeal (and other […]

Use a campaign deadline to increase urgency in your direct mail (Tip #28)

Create urgency with a deadline for responding to your appeal.  Prominently highlight the deadline on your outer envelope, within your letter (as part of your ask), in your letter’s P.S. statement, and on your reply device.  Let donors know that if they respond by the deadline, you’ll be able to do X, Y and Z.  […]

Yes, your thank you letters CAN generate revenue too (Tip #27)

Use a custom thank you letter with each direct mail appeal.  Use it to tell donors how their gift was (or will be) used, and to show sincere appreciation for their contribution.  Don’t use the same generic form letter in response to every appeal. Be sure to include a reply envelope in your thank you […]

What should you test in your direct mail? (Tip #26)

Test variables that matter and can have a significant impact on results.  New lists, new list categories, segmentation strategies, offers, package formats, timing and ask strategies.  These variables all have the potential to deliver significant increases in performance for you. Photo tests, fonts, outer envelope color, etc., can make an impact, but not nearly as […]

63 Fatal Fundraising Mistakes to Avoid

With competition for donors and charitable dollars at an all-time high, and the economy still keeping many donors on the sidelines, it’s more important than ever to focus on getting things right. These 63 fatal fundraising mistakes can have significant negative impacts on your fundraising results (both short and long-term). If you’re like me, you’ll […]