Focus on user experience in the mail too, not just online (Tip #16)

Increase response rates by pre-filling your donors’ personal information on your direct mail reply cards.  It might be tempting to just leave these blank (it’s probably modestly cheaper than pre-filling), but don’t give in to the temptation! If you pre-populate donor name, address and ID code, that makes it quicker and easier for donors to […]

The value of personalization in your direct mail (Tip #15)

Personalization is key.  With the technology available today, there’s no reason you should be sending targeted direct mail to any donor or prospect and addressing it to “Dear Friend” (or anything other than the donor’s name).  That’s no way to start or build a relationship. But donor name isn’t the only level of personalization you […]

Communicating differently via mail with middle and major donors (Tip #14)

Middle and major donors require a different treatment in the mail than your regular donor base.  These donors tend to prefer longer letters.  Closed-face envelopes, higher quality paper, First Class postage (both on the outer envelope and the reply envelope), and true handwriting are all techniques you should use when soliciting middle and major donors […]

Direct mail as part of an integrated fundraising strategy (Tip #13)

Donors don’t behave in silos.  They consume media via e-mail, print, TV, radio, mobile, social media and face-to-face.  And recent studies suggest that in many cases, they consume multiple media at once. Direct mail, because it still captures the majority of responses, should be central to your efforts.  But leveraging an integrated multi-channel strategy will help […]

Take major donors out of your mail program at your own risk (Tip #12)

Don’t take your major donors out of the direct mail stream.  This is one of the worst things you can do for your organization.  Typically this happens for one of two reasons.  You’re in a board meeting or prospect management meeting and someone says, “major donors hate getting direct mail.  We shouldn’t solicit major donors […]

Direct Mail Fundraising Tip of the Week (#11)

One page.  Two pages.  Eight pages.  There is no right or wrong length for direct mail fundraising letters.  Don’t believe what anyone tells you about this.  Those are personal biases and likely not relevant to anything. Take as many pages as you need in order to say what needs to be said.  As long as […]