Creative Direct Response

Two Premium Response Boosters
May 30, 2006

It’s through constant testing that we’re able to separate the winning packages from the losers. But with so many ideas, what truly constitutes effective direct-mail creative? And why does one package soar while others sink? The answer to effective creative is always in the results. The stats of any particular package will reveal whether a concept worked or not. Across the board, however -- no matter the package -- premiums generally seem to give packages a boost. Here are two tried-and-true premiums that work continuously, while others have come and gone. 1) Name labels. Name labels consistently perform well for one main reason: It’s

Talking Back
May 1, 2006

Is your organization “pushing the envelope” with direct mail? Tell us about your most daring DM efforts.

Don't Mess With the Message
October 1, 2005

Everyone likes a premium. But as it turns out, if it doesn’t tie into an organization’s mission, donors won’t respond as well as if it did.

At least that’s how it turned out for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which works to preserve the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., and educate the public about the impact of the Vietnam War.

Gold Awards: And the Winners Are ...
September 1, 2005

What a grand time. FundRaising Success ventured into the tricky awards arena for the first time this year. And even though it was all new to us, it was a terrific experience from start to finish. We had a better-than-expected showing — 33 packages in all, submitted by 10 agencies and two organizations — a small but enthusiastic group of judges and a lot of fun.

Statistics: Get to Know Them
April 12, 2005

You know all about testing, right? Will blue text get more donors to renew than red text? Will you get more new acquisitions with a picture of a cute little kitten or a half-starved dog? Can you do it better, faster, cheaper than you’re already doing it? All good questions. And all test-able, along with about a million other nuances of your direct-response program. So test away. But after the test, you’ll find yourself lousy with statistics. And if you are, indeed, lousy with statistics, all your valuable testing might be for naught. Geoff Peters, president of the Crofton, MD-based Creative Direct Response, knows

You Want the Appeal Out by When?
March 1, 2005

President John F. Kennedy gave NASA a decade to get to the moon. My kids give Santa a year to come through with presents. But I wonder if the rocket scientists and St. Nick have the same “under-the-gun” feeling that many direct mail fundraisers have when preparing the next big campaign.

Both experienced and newbie fundraisers alike know that successful campaigns require an investment of financial resources and time. We’ve dealt with the financial issues, now let’s deal with time — the one resource of which we all have the same amount to spend.

Piecing It All Together
November 1, 2004

Multi-channel fundraising is simply the idea that an organization uses more than one medium simultaneously (mail and telephone, for example) to conduct fundraising campaigns. Integrated fundraising is merely the process of making sure these campaigns are designed to work synergistically with one another.

Political Fallout?
July 1, 2004

Here’s a shocker: Fundraising is tough. Joan Specter, who’s part of the development team at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, spent quite a bit of time driving that point home to me during a conversation I had with her recently.

She was talking about her work with the center, where she focuses on securing major gifts, and explaining how much patience, tact and tenacity it takes to get someone to part with, oh, say, a million bucks.

Are you prepared for a disaster?
May 1, 2004

Many organizations, such as the American Red Cross and CARE, provide relief services to communities in severe situations. But when it comes time to address the possibility of being victims themselves, many nonprofits become proverbial ostriches with their heads in the sand, writes Michael K. Robinson, IT director at full-service fundraising firm Creative Direct Response, in his new book, “Disaster Recovery Planning for Nonprofits.”