Direct Mail Tips--Take Five
Direct Mail Tips: Take Five
Feb. 7, 2006
By Abny Santicola, associate editor, FundRaising Success
You'd be hard-pressed to find an organization more active than the National MS Society when it comes to direct-mail fundraising. NMSS has been fundraising with direct mail for almost 20 years and, according to Krista Byers, manager of special-events direct marketing for the organization, it's expecting to have raised more than $22 million through direct mail in fiscal year 2005.
Byers recommends the following five tips to achieve success through direct-mail fundraising.
1) Be as straightforward as possible in your ask. Demonstrate and state a clear need that can be helped by a gift.
2) Have a clear call to action, and be concise about what you want your donor to do as a result of reading your mailing. For example: To engage people in the MS Walk, one of NMSS' key fundraising events, an ask is made for people to sign up for the MS Walk "today" and start fundraising "now."
3) Know your customer. Research past giving history and base your appeal on that information. Consider RFA -- recency, frequency and the amount of the last gift.
4) Understand the individual and her relationship with the organization. For example, if there's someone with a direct connection to your organization, reference it in the appeal. This can increase response.
5) Always provide a vehicle to respond. Include a reply slip and envelope in every appeal so that action can be taken immediately.
Krista Byers can be reached via http://www.nmss.org