To truly reach time-crunched consumers in the mail, marketers must find ways to pique their interest. Sometimes, that means straying from the norm-even if the norm typically pulls the best results.
Many outers in the fundraising field are colorless, or ride heavily on the name of the nonprofit or the celebrity backing it. World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization, turns that classic design on its head with its four-color 6" x 9-1/2" mailing-and it has numerous implications. In fact, it asks the outer to do a lot of the work for this highly efficient mailing (Archive code #605-171939-0901).
In the current climate of shrunken personal savings and swelling unemployment percentages, many folks are feeling less fortunate, literally. Of course, many of these direct mail prospects know that others out there, at home and certainly in Third World countries, have it worse, but the self-preservation instinct is kicking in more than usual, with 2008 ranking as one of the worst years the fundraising sector has seen. At its 46th International Conference on Fundraising in New Orleans, La., held earlier this week, the Association of Fundraising Professionals reported that less than half of charities raised more money in 2008 than in 2007 and, more importantly (or frighteningly), fundraising gains dropped significantly across the board.
You have a first-class product that's proved itself on the market for 18 months. You've run some solid direct mail campaigns around, it and they've helped you capture 40 percent market share. Should you stand pat and send the same lead generation effort out again?
The standard rule in direct mail testing is to roll out your control to the majority of your list and send a smaller panel of test packages to compare results. That's the safe bet, putting most of your eggs in your previously top-performing direct mail basket.
Nearly seven years ago, Ann DeLaVergne got an envelope in the mail from an environmental company that was encouraging people to reduce waste by reusing envelopes. But it was sealed shut, plus it had print and labels all over it. There was no way to reuse it.
Renewal series add regular cash to your coffers and build loyal, long-term relationships. Yet many publishers ignore them or consider them an afterthought, lavishing money and creative capital on new acquisition packages instead. They leave easy money on the table, since it costs less to renew a subscriber than acquire one.
In October, I attended the DMA08 show in Las Vegas and had the great pleasure of hearing Wayne Pick, executive creative director of Rapp New Zealand, talk about how truly creative direct mail can warm up cold prospects. He discussed how many folks are suffering from the double-whammy of fiscal and, to use his term, "time poverty" and simply require more innovative, relevant and even honest mail in order to respond. Afterward, I invited him and his wife, Kim Pick, head of copy at Rapp, to be a part of our webinar series and present on a similar topic. Because "Winning