My Mailboxes Runneth Over
E-mail is colorful. Direct mail is not.
And that's a shame. There's a lot of competition in my in-box for attention, but there's even more in my mailbox. Your mailing can easily get lost amongst the catalogs, newsprint advertising, bills and magazines. Of the 12 pieces of mail sitting on my desk right now, all from nonprofits I donate to, only three are colorful. One is a gift catalog, so it's oversized as well. The other two make good use of the entire envelope, not just the front with the address. The one has a great photo on the back (billboard) side; the teaser under it is a bit of a disconnect, but other than that ... . It also has a QR code printed on the front (this nonprofit has been doing that for quite a while). Clearly it is reaching for a younger demographic without alienating its older, faithful supporters. I hope it's working, because I think the organization is making smart decisions.
The other one has solid blue printing on the front of the envelope with red accents (and a few unprinted white areas for contrast). On the back, there is a four-color promotion of the premium offer. The back is OK, but the front really grabbed my attention.
Unfortunately, the rest of the envelopes are boring. They shout my least favorite phrase -"Junk Mail!" - so loud, it's deafening. Not so with e-mails; even the most boring one is still pretty interesting, simply because the photo on top is compelling. Let's get some of those great photos on our envelopes. Yes, direct mail skews toward an older audience, but that doesn't mean "boring" is the preferred strategy. Test some color!
Most e-mailers "get it," but a few don't.
Just because e-mail is cheap (compared to direct mail, at least), that isn't an excuse to bombard me. Four e-mails in eight days is too much, in my opinion. I don't hear from family members that often.
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.