Engage Conference Spotlight: The Give and Take of Premium Mailings
On April 10, FundRaising Success is hosting its second annual Engage Conference. Engage is the only case-study-focused fundraising conference focusing on the keys to success from organizations that have successfully made the leap from just-getting-by nonprofits to powerhouse organizations. Leading up to Engage, we will be highlighting content from the participating organizations and speakers that we've published over the years.
The use of premiums in direct-response fundraising, whether it be in a direct-mail, email, telefundraising or direct-response television campaign, has conjured lots of debate over the years. Proponents like to point out the lift a premium often can give a specific campaign, while detractors often cite the lack of donor loyalty for premium-responsive donors.
Willis Turner, senior copywriter at Huntsinger & Jeffer, tackled "The Give and Take of Premium Mailings," in the October 2007 edition of FundRaising Success. Turner wrote: "… the question is not so much whether premiums are good or bad. It’s what your real object is for your fundraising campaign. If you want long-term, loyal donors, then use your best creative minds and most strategic mailing techniques. Create powerful, mission-driven creative, then get out there in as many channels as you can. Get attention, tell your story and give your reader a compelling reason to take action.
"If on the other hand, it’s more important to get your numbers up in the short run — and don’t get me wrong, there are many situations in which that is a very legitimate goal — then premiums are a great tool to help you accomplish that."
Turner will lead the "Creative, Effective Fundraising Copy" roundtables at the second annual Engage Conference.