Renewing the New
And while Fried initially considered presenting the decal in the carrier's window, he opted to reveal the membership card instead. "I felt the decal was not personalized," says Fried, noting that by simply mentioning on the carrier that a decal was enclosed would have the same desired effect as showing it through the window. "I felt that the constituents they were going after would be more prone to respond to a membership card that has their name on it as opposed to a decal," says Fried. "I just felt that the membership card would be more of an envelope opener."
Although Felsenthal notes that this membership renewal mailing didn't do nearly as well as the organization's spring mailing, bringing in about $40,000 compared to $70,000, he is pleased with the results, citing a 4 percent to 6 percent response rate and a higher average gift than other campaigns. "Compared to the spring mailing, it didn't do anywhere near as well, but the economy in the spring and the economy now are night and day," explains Felsenthal. "It still did well-50,000 [mailed] and offhand I think we've had between 2,000 and 3,000 responses. It's still a nice response."
While future use of this membership renewal campaign depends on a variety of factors including the economy, Felsenthal notes that the organization may use it again. "We may change the language from the renewal campaign, and the parent organization might want us to differentiate a little bit more between membership in the parent organization and membership in the alumni association, but basically I would use the same thing again," concludes Felsenthal. "In general, I think the sincerity came across, and people responded well."
IDEA IN ACTION: Extra Effort for the Niche Market
When it comes to mailing to niche markets, it's a good idea to step up your stand-out-in-the-mailbox game. Getting noticed can be tricky-and requires some tricks-with small market segments that often are bombarded with mail. According to Jeffrey Fried, partner of ADM Processing-the firm that works with Orthodox Union to develop its direct mail campaigns-each direct mail piece sent to the audience of 250,000 Jews must stand out, or it risks being overlooked even in the hands of the best donors due to the abundance of mail this niche market receives. "The reason why we need to spend that kind of money on design is because we're targeting a very small population, and they're getting targeted by hundreds if not thousands of organizations a year," explains Fried.