Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Direct Mail for Cheapskates

Armed with countless articles on the ineffectiveness of direct mail, I still cannot tear myself away from our direct mail solicitations of donors. Like many established organizations, we have a strong number of donors who have an established giving pattern around our quarterly newsletters and annual solicitations. Lacking email addresses for over 90% of them, it would be impossible to transition away from the direct mail list at this time.

Given that scenario, I found this article from 1099.com to be very helpful:

Low Cost Direct Mail Campaigns, by Linda Formichelli

Some questions worth asking for any mailing?
- When is the ideal time for your donors to receive this mailing? (not just "When can we finally finish all of the copy and drop it into a layout?"
- What barriers does this piece present to a possible donation? (i.e. do they have to find a stamp, or is your remit envelope pre-paid?)
- Assume three similar mailings arrive from other organizations the day that yours arrives. What will make yours get opened? read? acted on?

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DISCUSSION: How can organizations effectively secure email addresses from their constituents?