Selecting a List, Testing It Twice …
No. 3: Look at the long-term value of a list
A list you rent (or receive via an exchange) may not perform well when you first mail it. The percent response may be lower than your expectations, and/or the average gift may not be what you need. But often, a long-term value report will show that the donors who came onto your file from what seemed to be a mediocre list just keep giving. When you find that gem of a list, mail it every few months with the confidence that while the results won't look great at first, you are acquiring loyal donors who will continue to be highly profitable two, five, even 10 years from now.
Acquisition is expensive. But it's necessary if your nonprofit is going to continue — even grow — its good work well into the future. Acquisition isn't for the faint of heart, but working with good partners can help you survive and thrive.
Pamela Barden is the creative juice and the copywriting machine behind PJBarden Inc. Pamela also serves on the FundRaising Success Editorial Advisory Board. You can follow Pamela on Twitter @pjbarden.