Five Components of DRTV Fundraising Success
There seems to be a general misconception in our industry that the elements of successful DRTV are a well-kept secret shared among a few nonprofits. But the truth is that good DRTV follows the same principles of any good direct response, and it requires the same dogged discipline of testing and measuring.
But it must be worth it. Through July this year, nonprofits have a reported spending of $27 million in short-form (generally two minutes or less) TV advertising, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Nonprofits that use DRTV successfully are able to manage each of the medium's five critical components: offer, creative, media partner, fulfillment, and evaluation and control.
1. Offer. Make your offer compelling and easy to understand. When your TV commercial is over, it's gone, just like a mail package in the shredder. So make the urgent case to call -- NOW.”
Set realistic gift amounts. We can take a lesson here from the for-profit world, where so much direct response is for products priced under $30. For bigger-ticket items, the cost is spread over time so the advertised amount is low -- for instance, four easy payments of $29.99 each.
Consider premiums. Many nonprofits use premiums successfully. If you decide to use a premium, make sure that it makes intuitive sense to the viewer by being closely aligned with your mission, brand and offer.
2. Creative. You have only a few seconds to grab donors' attention before they move on to another station. Present a simple, emotional message that focuses on the urgent need. The motivation to respond will be more emotional than rational.
Take advantage of the sensory experience that TV provides. A child's eyes slowly opening -- or closing -- can be powerful. Slow the motion, speed it up, dissolve slowly, do fast cuts, be loud, be quiet, set the mood with music, use color, sepia, or black and white. Television offers exciting and robust creative elements to work with. But don't confuse or complicate your message by overproducing. While you do want to take advantage of the broad creative palette that TV offers, you don't want your message and brand lost in slick production.