DM Diagnosis: Still Waiting …
What type of postage are you using for your thank-you letters?
Here’s what showed up in my mailbox: indicia, 29 percent; First Class meter, 19 percent; presorted First Class stamp, 14 percent; presorted First Class meter, 14 percent; nonprofit Standard stamp, 14 percent; First Class stamp, 5 percent; nonprofit Standard meter, 5 percent.
Of the metered mail, it’s clear that the USPS is on its game with First Class delivery timelines, but it’s taking some nonprofits a month or more to get a thank-you letter in the mail.
Particularly with the 20 percent of the organizations I had yet to hear from on Day 60, I’m wondering how long it’s been since they monitored their acknowledgement processes. (And I don’t mean seeding the list and assuming all is well; I mean actually making a gift and watching to see what happens. It’s a smart self-audit to do periodically, both as a new donor and as a renewing donor.)
I also wonder how often outbound postage is being tested on acknowledgements — particularly with the unpredictable nature of when Standard mail delivers. And over what time frame are test results being reviewed? Sure, the savings from using Standard mail for acknowledgements helps lower costs up front … yet, what is it doing to retention if we fail the simplest donor expectation of saying thank you in a timely fashion?
Gladys doesn’t think about any of that. She just knows it feels good to be thanked and it makes her feel happy to have given.
So at the end of Day 60, who wins the race to say thanks?
Jerry Falwell. Less than two weeks after I mailed a check, I received both a warm thank-you letter and, on the same day but in a different package, the DVD offered in the acquisition package.