Testing to Quiet the Naysayers
The October 2007 issue of Professional Fundraising, the British fundraising publication, included this to-the-point “case study” that underscores the importance of testing your appeals.
“The Children’s Society first introduced its toothbrush mail pack in November 2004. Since then the charity has sent out around a million packs and raised [more than 600,000 British pounds] from the mailing, which uses the strapline: ‘No time to pack when you’re running from abuse.’
The pack asks donors to send back the toothbrush, each of which costs the charity [2 pence] to buy, with an extra donation to help fill a bag for a runaway child.
The charity has now sent out eight versions of the mailing, recording an average response rate of 3 percent. Although rates are dropping — currently hovering around 1.5 percent — in terms of ROI, the charity says the pack is still worth it.
‘We knew that we were going to get asked by various supporters why we were spending money on the toothbrush,’ recalls Jemma Wilson, direct marketing manager in supporter acquisitions at The Children’s Society. ‘So we produced an identical pack without a toothbrush. It had a 0.76 percent response rate, compared to 3 percent with the toothbrush.’
The charity passed these results on to its supporter call centre to make sure any donors who did call in to complain had a full explanation.”
Read more about fundraising in Great Britain at Professional Fundraising online at www.professionalfundraising.co.uk