The campaign stands out for new donors because it strays a little from LWV’s typical mailings, which don’t normally utilize many engagement devices.
Targeted at progressive political advocacy lists, as well as co-ops and modeled environmental lists — essentially voters — the letter lays out the urgency of the concerns for voters and specifically tells recipients to: “Make your voice heard by completing and returning the enclosed National Opinion Survey” as well as support LWV with a donation.
The survey comes with instructions and a reply device to make a donation as well, and the inserts focus on voter rights and ask recipients to take action by contacting legislators and joining LWV.
A follow-up appeal is mailed to those who don’t respond, with a “SECOND REQUEST: Immediate Response Requested” teaser.
“People take that deadline to heart,” Simmons says. “I can’t tell you how many phone calls I will get saying, ‘It’s after the deadline, but can I still send in my responses to the survey?’”
Since 2010, besides testing out of the decal, LWV has tested several acquisition formats against this package, such as an old control in January and another retest of a brand-new package, taking out one of the two inserts and both inserts, testing a double carrier, and a No. 11 carrier with a yellow survey. But the National Opinion Survey “does double anything that we mail against it,” Natelson says.
Strategy and results
LWV mails anywhere from 350,000 to 500,000 pieces of this control at a time, mailing the campaign seven times per fiscal year (July, August, September, January, February, May and June), and this acquisition package has been mailed more than 6.8 million times to date.
The original goal was to increase response and lower the cost per donor, which LWV did. Historically, its acquisition response rate had been around 0.65 percent to 0.75 percent. To date, the National Opinion Survey has generated an average response rate of 1.48 percent, bringing in more than $2.1 million for the organization at a $23.28 average gift, lowering the cost per donor in the process. And with a high response rate of 1.83 percent and low of 0.94 percent, it continues to be a winner.
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