Market Focus?Conservative Political Donors (1,620 words)
Checco says, "There is a huge distinction to be made when someone asks me to go forward with something gun-related as opposed to something concerning Second Amendment rights. We don't want to offend givers to non-profits by selling their names to a fund-raiser like the NRA."
"Unfortunately," tells Ainsworth, "many political candidates want lists, but don't understand how direct marketing works. More than once, a campaign has called me saying, 'We want such-and-such list,' because some other politician recommended it. Or, campaigns call because they need to raise a lot of money in two weeks, and they want to try (for the first time!) direct mail."
Also, lamentably, many political clients overlook the benefits of putting their own list on the rental market. Ainsworth suggests that candidates, "shouldn't look for lists, they should look for list brokers."
"With fund-raisers and publications, it's about getting a high response selected from a small quantity. It's more about fast returns with political donors," says Lyles.
Leary feels that recency is a legitimate concern with conservative fund-raisers, "during inactivity, the names become outdated. Some list owners will exaggerate the recency of their names."
Checco disagrees as to the importance of this. "We run NCOA annually, but the files don't go dead. If there are lists out there related to Reagan, those people will still feel strongly."
Perhaps people's beliefs don't change: True believers will give in support of their convictions. But, is that all our right-winged friends are responding to?
Checco believes that it is the letter signer that inevitably wins the donation. "If it weren't Charlton Heston signing the piece, there wouldn't be a connection."
Ainsworth agrees, "the letter writer/signer usually needs to be a name that the recipient recognizes. If not, getting the package opened is much more of a creative challenge."