Ethan Boldt

Ethan Boldt
The Top 10 Premiums for 2013

When you glance at that list of top premiums in 2013, immediately you notice that these are relevant, useful gifts. The most common premium in 2013 is a book! (So much for not  treating the donor with intelligence.) For example, the Union of Concerned Scientists offers the book “The Consumer’s Guide to Effective Environmental Choices” to prospective donors, which serves to connect them more deeply to the cause as well as offer useful information.

3 Fundraising Direct-Mail Trends

The "Cross-Channel Fundraising Tips and Trends" report is a high-level study of fundraising marketing, as we pulled endless amounts of data from our direct-mail and e-mail archives (the most complete direct marketing archive in the world) and are presenting the current fundraising trends, including comparisons of 2011 to 2010, as well as giving a glimpse of how 2012 is shaping up.

Personalized URLs Work for Nonprofits

Today, every fundraiser understands that direct mail can't do it all. Any campaign needs the other channels, to some extent ... and ideally on the same page. And while the closely coordinated direct-mail and e-mail campaigns are both popular and successful today, perhaps the most effective demonstration of the offline-online marriage is a personalized URL (PURL) campaign.

Sustainable Mail? — A Q&A With Mal Warwick

The age of corporate responsibility is here, and many direct mailers didn’t see it coming. And many don’t know what to do. Mal Warwick — founder and chairman of Mal Warwick Associates, a Berkeley, Calif.– and Washington D.C.–based fundraising agency specializing in direct marketing — got a head start more than a decade ago, when being socially and environmentally responsible wasn’t necessarily profitable. Now he serves as a model for direct marketers everywhere who want to achieve the so-called “triple bottom line” — social, environmental AND financial success — that actually is more profitable for most of the companies that pursue it. Warwick

The Green Prospects

In “Star Wars Episode IV,” Luke Skywalker struggles to convince Han Solo to help him save Princess Leia, stuck in the detention block on the Death Star. “But they’re going to kill her!” Han Solo’s cold response? “Better her than me.” So Luke changes tack, and after a beat says, “She’s rich.” Han Solo comes back with, “How rich?” Encouraged, Luke blurts out, “More money than you can imagine.” Han smiles, saying, “I don’t know, I can imagine quite a bit.” You know the rest of the story: Han opts in, Luke and Han take some significant risks, the Princess is rescued, and then

The GreenPiece

Encouraged by green prospects, pushed by the DMA and sometimes impelled from within (perhaps to simply slim down a package), many mailers already have begun to test into green packages. Some, however, don’t know where to begin. So, whether you consider these baby steps or giant leaps, here are three ways to create the green mail piece. 1. Make a New Year’s resolution As if hit by a green tidal wave, many direct mailers feel overwhelmed by the new information. Fortunately, the DMA helps with two significant resource materials. First is the DMA Environmental Resource for Direct Marketers (, updated in 2004 and available

Nonprofits Tighten the Belt on Premiums

Last year in Inside Direct Mail, we wrote that the nonprofit sector was experiencing a “pretty big downturn in premium use.” Not only were total numbers down, but so was the variety of premium types being offered. Indeed, nonprofit premiums had an undeniable presence in both the 2003 and 2004 calendar years. However, after doing some research in our Who’s Mailing What! Archive, it became clear that the premium’s grip on the sector was beginning to slip, with 23.1 percent of nonprofit mail including a premium offer in 2003 and 16.7 percent in 2004. Perhaps because of budget constraints and more conservative direct-mail