2. Apply what you know about your prospects (a.k.a., database marketing)
"Data interpretation and application is a must," states Peggy Greenawalt, president and creative director of direct marketing agency Tomarkin/Greenawalt. "But it has to be used with intelligence." Just because you know something about a person is not enough reason to let him know you know, reminds Greenawalt. "Unwise creative using this information can backfire and deserves to."
3. Be more accountable
In the fundraising arena, as the then presidential candidate Barack Obama proved in 2009, the younger generation is making its impact felt in significant ways.
"Younger donors are raising the bar for all nonprofit organizations," points out Merritt Engel, vice president of fundraising agency Merrigan & Co. In fact, she says they demand more accountability than ever before from the causes they support. As a result, Engel believes that message will play an even more important role in acquiring and retaining donors of the future.
"Nonprofits need supporters who respond out of a genuine sense of duty to the organization's mission, not simply from a feeling of reciprocity or guilt (which is often the motivation from a premium)," suggests Engel.
4. Strengthen the direct mail-Web connection
"Unless the local merchant or professional firm has optimized their Web presence for local search, they can be lost in the vastness of the Web," warns Gary Hennerberg, president of direct marketing agency The Hennerberg Group.
In other words, make sure that prospects can easily find your Web site, that it impresses the prospect while also syncing with the mail piece, and that orders, transactions or donations can occur easily on that site.
5. Return to basics
While new tactics are worth trying and slim-down moves are understandable, the struggling publishing sector could use a return-to-basics lesson, says Elaine Tyson, president of Tyson Associates, which provides circulation management services to magazine publishers.