10 Creative Strategies to Cut Through the Clutter
Sometimes an incredibly effective way to get noticed in direct mail is to NOT do the things you usually do to get noticed. Ditch the approved fonts, ditch the logo, ditch the official colors and just do words on paper. Unbrand.
Un-marketing can be very effective marketing indeed. This approach can lift your mail results by as much as 30 percent or more.
4. Establish a new-member conversion program to boost second gift and retention rates.
Organizations with tangible memberships like museums traditionally have a harder time soliciting gifts above and beyond membership. After members join, they’re likely to get rolled into the existing special-appeals program. However, the messages you typically find in special appeals/annual fund aren’t truly in step with the new members’ mind-set.
A few months after new members join, and before you solicit them with a traditional fundraising appeal, ask them to give you feedback about your organization. Invite them to share something about themselves with you, and in turn, share more about your organization with them, including the role that gifts above and beyond membership play in making your organization’s work possible.
Virginia Discovery Museum sends a mailing monthly to new members three to four months after joining the museum. It has a friendly tone, look and feel, very much in sync with the organization. It asks members, “How are we doing?” and includes a friendly report card for them to send their comments. It also lets them know a few more things about the museum, including the fact that membership dues only cover 23 percent of operating expenses, and it invites them to consider making an additional gift to the museum.
An approach such as this can generate response rates twice that of new-member response rates when solicited in traditional special appeals. Plus, you might get some helpful feedback and/or identify people who might be interested in deeper engagement with your organization — like volunteering or planned-giving opportunities.