3 Answers about Acquiring New Donors Through Direct Mail
And, generally churn tends to be higher among premium-acquired donors than among respondents to mission-based appeals. While premiums are attention-getting, it's often difficult to create a "fit" with the organizations mission ... and the further removed that initial response is from the organizations raison d'etre, the more difficult conversion is going to be.
There are two tendencies (I don't know if we can call them trends yet or not, but I think they will become so) that seem to exacerbate this:
1. As organizations go to more and more expensive freemiums, they see an immediate increase in response rates that seems to be followed by an increase in churn. In part, I think this is because you create more of a "buyer mentality" than a "donor mentality" with the recipient.
2. I think younger donors have different expectations of accountability and are not as premium tolerant. They're saying "Don't send me that stuff. I want to support organizations that put my support to work ... not that use it to buy stuff to send out."
Question: Do you have any samples of various outside envelopes with test messaging that you could share?
Rooney: Remember the only function of the carrier envelope is to deliver the letter to the recipient and to get them to open it.
Having said that, teasers are very tricky. And, there are two critical characteristics of teasers you must keep in mind. First, they are context specific and very few translate across different packages.
However, there are a few. "Membership Renewal Information" is the most powerful teaser in direct mail. Donors respond very strongly to offers about renewing their annual membership. So, variations on this teaser are very effective. Of course, they can only be used in a renewal mailing, but every organization should have one. If your group does not, start one today.