Direct-mail Options From Dick Goldsmith
One of the goals of a direct-mail appeal should be a personal connection, says Dick Goldsmith, chairman of The Horah Group, a full-service direct-marketing agency. Appeals that refer to previous donations and unique ask strings based on previous donations can help add that personal connection.
Using variable data is another way to connect with recipients, Goldsmith says. It can give a national organization the ability to, for example, overlay recipients’ geographic information into a direct-mail campaign to talk about how it’s helping people in the recipient’s local community.
“If they can tell me that they help people who were hit by floods two counties away from where I live, it’s going to hit home a lot harder,” he says.
Goldsmith explains that stamps are more personal than indicias. But if the outer envelope is less personal-looking, with headlines and a lot of graphics, he recommends using an indicia.
“There’s no sense in spending your money on a personalized stamp, because everybody knows that it’s not personal mail. If you’re sending out a package that you want to look like a personal mailing, then you should use a stamp,” he says.
Goldsmith also shares advice on using elements like Post-it notes and postcards. Putting a Post-it note on the outer envelope costs more money in postage, but it definitely attracts attention. It can be used as a teaser to get recipients inside your mailing.
But if you’re going to use a Post-it note, make sure that it serves a purpose beyond directing recipients to “look inside” your envelope.
“That’s a waste of money. You don’t need to have a Post-it note to say that,” Goldsmith says. “What you really want a Post-it note for is to remind somebody to do something and have on that Post-it note contact information — a URL, a phone number, something that they can just keep and know that based on that they can respond.”