Help Stamp Out Junk Mail
Some of it, she’s glad to see. She opens it. Reads it. Enjoys it. Why? Because she knows why those organizations write to her. She has a relationship with them — she’s a partner, not a mass-audience prospect.
What’s the difference?
Here are some of the things that separate the non-junk organizations from the junk mailers:
* NJOs go out of their way to be relevant. It’s about the donor and how she can change the world. Junk tends to focus on the organization that sent it — how powerful, effective and just-plain-cool it is. There’s little reason for a donor to care about that.
* NJOs explain something real the donor can do. Junk mailers probably do some exciting things that would light Mrs. Sample’s fire, but since they only want to raise unrestricted funds, they can’t let her join the fun.
* NJOs invite the donor in on something unique and exciting. Junk mail, however, has a “me-too” quality, with only vague philosophical and branding differences between organizations that work in related sectors.
* NJOs strive to keep data clean. Junk senders’ offerings are plagued with errors, misspellings, duplicate records and other slop. If you’re making these kinds of mistakes, you might as well slap a big sticker on your letters that says, “WARNING: JUNK MAIL!”
* NJOs pay attention to the data and have a good idea who’s likely to respond to any given mailing. Recency, amount, seasonality, topic, style — all these things help predict likelihood of response. The junk mailers — well, they just dump mail on everyone and hope for the best.
* NJOs give donors control. If a donor wants less mail, non-junk organizations send less mail. And NJOs don’t wait for donors to get ticked off to take the initiative; they actively give them choices — e.g., what media they prefer and what topics they care about.