Special Report: Fundraising 101 Direct Mail
Other positive features include the built-in reply envelope for donor checks or credit-card privacy that increase donor response. In addition, on the inside are the appeal letter, more photos, text, headlines, the donor-reply form and, again, the BRE to complete the all-in-one fundraising self-mailer format. The donor-reply form can be personalized with donor-identification information, including specific donor-file identification codes, as well as variable gift-array charges based on previous donation levels.
The donor-reply form also can be designed as a perforated bangtail conveniently attached to the built-in BRE for easy removal, assuring that no pieces are lost or discarded accidentally. The BRE in this in-line format also can be “appeal enhanced,” as it is created equally from the higher-quality paper print graphics and, say, four-color process bleeds to create nice thank-yous on the BRE at almost no additional cost.
The self-mailer format can be personalized on two sides, inside and out, during the in-line print process and while being finished. This process allows for the outer address panel, appeal letter, donor-reply form and more to have personalization that is fail-safe and matched only to one specific donor name per self-mailer, as part of the normal in-line process.
Your direct-mail printer might be willing to send you fundraising appeal samples of successful self-mailers to assist your decision making and creative effort.
The creative design of these in-line self-mailers usually is made easy using e-templates from your direct-mail printer or lettershop. Ask for these templates when you’re starting the process or for creative design assistance. Some printers have design-on-line features right on their interactive Web sites.
In the mail
The most efficient nonprofit shape-based sizes take advantage of U.S. Postal Service standard nonprofit letter rate discounts. Shape-based, letter-sized formats must be rectangular in shape for automated processing by the Postal Service. They must meet all postal aspect ratios. Shape-based sizes can be as small as 3.5-inches-by-4.625-inches up to 6.125-inches-by-15.375-inches. This maximum larger size is still shaped-based and a real attention getter that stands out for the same postage cost as a standard nonprofit letter rate. The larger, potentially full-color appeal, at no extra postage, can be a very attractive option for a fundraising program looking for a better response.