4. Use data to strengthen relationships. Donors know their value to your organization and they expect YOU to know it. Use your donor information (such as the length of time they’ve supported you or the generosity of their last gift) to speak to donors more personally in your mailing about their relationship with you and the value of their support.
5. Use data to facilitate a response. Pre-populate response forms or, for Web responses, create customized URLs or personalized passwords that link to pre-populated Web forms to make it easier for donors to say yes. You also can suggest donation levels appropriate for each donor based on past giving.
A final note: The downside of data-driven creative is inaccuracy. Great creative that’s based on bad data is a relationship killer. Thus, the most important rule is to capture data accurately and keep your data current, complete and clean.
Jean M. Gianfagna is president of Gianfagna Marketing & Communications, Inc., a full-service agency offering direct-marketing strategic and creative services. She can be reached via www.gianfagnamarketing.com