The Care and Feeding of the Creative Mind
However, make the extra effort for a good visual. It’s a compelling way to get your point across. If you don’t have good photos in-house consider investing in a half- or full-day photo shoot. You probably can get all the photos you need for the year in a single day. This is especially important if you don’t allow the use of stock photos.
If you will allow stock photos, there are several stock houses online these days -- so good photography is more accessible than in the past. It’s also quite economical, as many good stock images are available “royalty-free.”
8. When in doubt, test it out
Sometimes, despite your best-laid plans and strategic thinking, you and your team cannot come to agreement on which creative approach is best. When this happens, test. It’s the best way to prove what kind of creative will perform.
Some of my clients test eight, 10 or more different approaches in a single mailing. It depends up the size of your file -- and your budget.
If there were a magic formula for creative that worked for every cause and every donor file, our lives would be much easier. But I would be out of a job. The best we can do is work as a team to strategize, brainstorm and test to find the best ideas for each individual appeal and its audience. It’s time consuming -- but it works!
Steve Maggio is president and chief creative officer at Plymouth, Mass.-based fundraising and marketing firm DaVinci Direct. For information: www.davinci-direct.com
Steve Maggio is an industry leader who has provided innovative strategy and creative for more than 200 nonprofits in his 30-year career. Since co-founding DaVinci Direct Inc. in 2005, Steve has served national accounts Disabled American Veterans, Lupus Foundation of America, Muscular Dystrophy Association, American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, National Jewish Health and several faith-based charities, as well as regional healthcare, humane society, social service and international nonprofits. His teams have won more than 250 awards, including DMA ECHO, DMAW MAXI, DMFA Package of the Year, and NEDMA Awards for Creative Excellence, including Best of Show.