Using the Power of Direct Mail to Fundraise in an Online World

Direct mail fundraising is experiencing a new boom.

If you are involved in fundraising – or even direct mail for a for-profit company – read this carefully.

You see, direct mail is still a powerhouse in generating funds for non-profit, Christian and political organizations.

Why?

Because of new changes in direct mail fundraising.

Over the years, I’ve worked on literally hundreds of fundraising campaigns raising over a billion dollars for groups. Let’s take a look at what creates a powerful campaign.

1. Data – The most important thing is making sure you have the right data. The big new breakthrough now is data modeling and advanced optimization. All these are tools that, done right, are going to get a superior response.

Once you have your data right, the marketing package is essential.

Bookalogs (video brief), magalogs (video brief), and videologs (video brief) are all great and powerful direct mail formats for raising funds.

But the standard format is a winning traditional envelope mailing package…

2. The Envelope – The sole purpose of the envelope is to have your prospect rip it open. That’s usually done with powerful teaser copy.

Here is an envelope done for Pacific Justice Institute. Note that the teaser copy goes directly to the heart of the prospect.

PJI Teaser Copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The envelope should have a pre-cancelled stamp.

Should you use a personalized envelope with no teaser copy? Definitely, depending on your audience. A hand written letter or a personalized type can increase response (see here), especially if it’s to your house list.

But to your prospect, the teaser copy will normally work better.

Here’s an example of  envelopes I did for a successful campaign for a children fundraising project. Can you guess the teaser copy winner?

Teaser Copy A
Version A
Teaser Copy B
Version B

The winner was version A – by over 50%.

3. Response Device – Here is an old response device I dug it out of the archive. I dug it out because, notice this, it’s for the Committee to Stop the Bail Out of Multi-International Banks back in 1986 – from one of the many campaigns I did with Ron Paul.

Ron Paul

Note, this response device is not a small little card. Notice that it has a strong positive acceptance statement (PAS). In addition, it has an opinion poll and pictures. One of the mistakes many make is attaching a response device to the letter, or having a smaller device that doesn’t have the copy and art reinforcement. The larger size will normally produce higher response.

Let me show you a response device that powerfully drives action. Notice that the coupon is at the bottom. This way you have a strong call to action and the positive acceptance statement at the top.

Response Device

 

4. Lift Note – A lift note is a powerful way to increase response by 10-15%, maybe even 20%. Here is an example:

Lift note

 

5. Involvement devices, post it notes, value added pieces, opinion polls, petitions, surveys, article reports, a checklist, or post cards can be powerful in lifting response 20-40%.

Here is a post it note:

Lift note

 

And below is a value added piece included in the children’s fundraising letter.

Value Added Piece

 

6. Landing Page – Make sure you have a strong landing page that matches up to your direct mail package. Here is an example of a landing page we did for Freedom Alliance.

Freedom Alliance

 

It’s just for the campaign, not other efforts.

For Tiger Haven, notice we have the 1-800 number.

Tiger Haven

 

These are not the corporate site. If you send people to your corporate site, it will kill response.

Can I help you with your fundraising? Give me a call at 310-212-5727 or email me at craig@cdmginc.com.

 

Direct Mail Video Briefs