What’s your direct mail suppression strategy? (Tip #22)

Be careful not to over-suppress. What do you do when someone calls and asks to be taken off your mailing list?  Do you just say OK and pull them from all future communication? The better solution is to engage them, and use this opportunity to build a deeper relationship.  Try to solve their desire for reduced […]

Keys to a strong fundraising offer

A few weeks ago I wrote about what it takes to have a strong fundraising offer.  While on vacation this week in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, I found a great example of a strong fundraising offer. This counter-top display was in the Westmont College bookstore.  It isn’t pretty.  There’s no flashy branding.  But the offer […]

How often can you use a match challenge in the mail? (Tip #21)

Matching challenges help increase direct mail response rates and total revenue.  I’ve seen nonprofits that use matches in as many as 7-10 of their mail appeals each year.  Probably seems excessive, right?  The interesting thing is, it doesn’t get old.  Donors love leverage. Use a match as frequently as you can – they work well!

Are you constantly reinventing your direct mail wheel? (Tip #20)

Find a control package (or several).  I’m always surprised when I talk to nonprofit organizations and hear things like, “we’re working on a new holiday package because our board thinks we’ve used the old one too long – they’re bored with it.” I’m all for testing.  Testing is important.  But before you begin testing, you’ve […]

What makes for a strong direct mail fundraising offer? (Tip #19)

A good offer is one that is specific, tangible, urgent and solvable.  Here are some examples: Your gift of $19.40 will provide holiday meals for 10 hungry, homeless, hurting people today.  OR Your $500 gift today will help us rush flu vaccines to 8 villages to save the lives of children like Eduardo.  Please hurry! […]

How to know when direct mail isn’t a good fundraising tool for your org (Tip #18)

Not all fundraising offers are made for direct mail.  Some causes just don’t lend themselves to direct mail.  This can be because your audience is so small you can’t get the economies of scale necessary to make direct mail a cost effective proposition. And some offers won’t work in direct mail because they’re uncomfortable.  We’ve […]