Best Practices Never Go Out of Style
Common sense may lead you to something that looks like a winner, but still find a creative way to test it if you can. For example, if you have a small list, prepare two letters and mail half letter A this month and the other half letter B. Next month, mail the other letter to each group. Sure, you have factors that can skew results, but sometimes, when there's no other choice, "good enough" is good enough. (My apologies to all of you who are cringing at that statement. But I stand by it.)
There's a memorable scene in the movie "City Slickers" between Billy Crystal (Mitch) and Jack Palance (Curly). Curly asks Mitch, "Do you know what the secret of life is? This …" (He holds up one finger.) Mitch replies, "Your finger?" Ignoring the humor, Curly continues, "One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don't mean …"
Mitch, like direct-response marketers everywhere, presses for more, asking, "But, what is the 'one thing'?" Curly responds, "That's what you have to find out."
What is the one thing in direct response that is going to make your income grow and your donors deepen their conviction? That's what you have to find out.
Pamela consults with nonprofits, helping them develop their fundraising strategy and writing copy to achieve their goals. Additionally, she teaches fundraising at two universities, hoping to inspire the next generation of fundraisers to be passionate about the profession. Previously, Pamela led the fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. Pamela is a member of the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, a CFRE, a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Dominican University, and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University. Contact Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.