Six Tips to Boost Response
The best nonprofit donors are the people that are most targeted by competing fundraisers, said Herschell Gordon Lewis, direct marketing guru and president of Lewis Enterprises, in his session “Using Mail and E-mail to Boost Nonprofit Response” at the Direct Marketing Association’s 2006 Annual Conference & Exhibition in San Francisco last week.
Trends for the 21st century, for marketers and nonprofit organizations alike, are increasingly emphatic persuasion; inclusion of validation; increasing informality; and the promise of fast action.
Lewis offered the following tips for boosting response through mail and/or e-mail:
1. Pose questions asking people to donate, bestow or bequeath. Questions are automatically reader involving.
2. Be clear in terms of the words and phrases you choose when you are trying to initiate an action.
3. Make requests for donations that match the potential donor’s capability, not the organization’s goals.
4. Don’t crowd the carrier. The purpose of the carrier envelope is to carry its contents AND get opened. But saying too much on the envelope can hurt response.
5. Don’t sneak up on the reader. “Fire your biggest gun first,” Lewis said. This is true for the direct-mail letter, and especially e-mails.
6. Be specific in your messaging.
Herschell Gordon Lewis can be reached via www.herschellgordonlewis.com