Sometimes when I tell fundraisers they should be mailing their donors more, they say something like this:
“I don’t have the time or bandwidth to create new offers, find more stories, and do all that work needed to get more mailings out.”
It’s a fair and meaningful objection. Direct mail is hard work. It takes a lot of time to produce. It takes even more to do it well.
So let me show you some ‘cheats’ that will help you get additional mailings out without eating up all your time:
- Re-send your most successful packs from the last couple of years. Literally just send them again. They did well before — they most likely will do well again. Few people will notice the repetition. Even fewer will care or complain.
- Develop an annual pack that follows a very similar ‘template’ so your efforts in re-designing are minimised.You just insert the new story, dates and photos and don’t redesign.
- An annual supporter connection survey is an essential communication, adding that in with a financial ask is a great use of time and resources.
- Send follow-up packs. Basically, extend a strong appeal by sending some kind of version of it again three to six weeks later.I’ll show you several different ways to do this. By the way, DON’T exclude people who have already donated, but acknowledge their gift. ‘Thank you for donating, but I am just x short of my target of y…’
- Easy follow-up: Send the same letter again, but the second time add a little note ‘Did you get this letter? I really need your response.’
- Edited follow-up. Simplify the first letter. Just cut it down to a less complex, less costly pack.
- Copier follow-up. Produce a version of the first letter that looks like you photocopied it, then wrote notes on it before sending. Like, “I sent you this letter a few weeks ago, and I wanted to make sure you saw it!”
- Approaching the goal follow-up. If the first version had a financial goal, go back again with the same letter, but with progress toward the goal noted: “We’re so close to our $80,000 goal! Could you send a gift to put us over the top and help even more puppies?”
These things may feel like cheating, but they can be effective ways for you to raise more funds without breaking the bank — or your back!
Want some immediate help with your direct mail? Communications guru Jeff Brooks and I are offering a one-on-one personalised training program to help you with your next direct mail project. To find out more about how we can help you get great results, book a FREE 25-minute call with me now.