Recycle, Reuse and Repurpose Creative
Whenever I get a box for a delivery, I look at the size and see if I can reuse it for something else. Can I ship a care package to a nephew who’s deployed? Could I ship something to our kids or grandkids?
Well, the same applies to fundraising and direct response.
I’ve been doing this for some 40 years. During that time, I learned that many things go in cycles. Often, we fundraisers and direct marketers want to try something new because we were tired of it long before the donors are.
We are always trying to come up with new stories, new ideas and new approaches. But at some point, there are only so many hours in the day. The creative juices stop flowing and we’re getting closer to burnout.
Here’s an idea: Recycle, reuse, repurpose.
In direct mail, what worked seven years ago can be reused and work again, especially as you’re dealing with supply issues and possibly not being able to mail what you usually mail at this time of year. You can repurpose something used previously, especially if your organization struggles to come up with stories. Many organizations are already applying this principle by creating a simple reminder to the first drop. Did you receive your letter?
Look at something you did seven years ago — or maybe even more recently — and see if you can retest it.
That same applies to emails and social media posts. Look at your inventory of images, videos and emails. What worked well for one-time gifts? How about trying that email to invite donors to consider a recurring gift?
A few tweaks can do wonders in very short order and breathe in a whole new life without a lot of creative heavy lifting. How many donors are going to remember that story you sent two years ago? How many donors will blame you for reusing a wonderful video in an email that was used on social media? I bet you can count the number on a single hand (or should I say it’s zero!).
I recently did this with an email to invite monthly donors. We used it one-and-a-half years ago. This time the results were even better than the first time! It was a great story, so why not reuse it?
So, give yourself a break. Give your creative juices a break. Instead, look at your archives and inventory and recycle, reuse, repurpose. You’ll generate and keep more recurring gifts because of it.
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals. She authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving — in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and a cat, Mientje.