My Mailboxes Runneth Over
In the old days, we used to mail direct mail to a person until he or she said "Stop!" Then we removed the person from our list (supposedly, in some cases). We figured out that "mailing too much" didn't have to be all or none, and we started to offer our donors the opportunity to select the mailing frequency that best met their needs. In other words, we "stepped them down," still mailing to them, but doing it less frequently.
Alas, with the e-mail I looked at, we're mostly back to the "all or none" mentality. I either get your mail or I unsubscribe. I can't tell you to only mail me every other week, or just send your e-news. My choices are to unsubscribe, add you to my junk mailers list, create a rule to automatically move your messages to my deleted folder, or ignore the vast majority of your messages. Why aren't we offering "control" to our donors, instead of assuming they will just take anything we send them?
The good news is, these complaints don't apply to everyone - and most importantly, they are fixable. Take a look at your e-mail and direct mail - and look at what "the competition" is sending out, too. (You are donating so you get mail, right?!!) How can you make your fundraising messages break out of the clutter, and do even better?
Pamela Barden is the creative juice and the copywriting machine behind PJBarden Inc. a consulting firm focusing on helping small to mid-sized nonprofits see big results in fundraising. Pamela also serves on the FundRaising Success Editorial Advisory Board. You can follow Pamela on Twitter @pjbarden.
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 email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.