Fundraisers: Watch Your Backs
The solution, though, is simple: Back testing.
You back test by mailing your winning package a second time, in order to confirm its results. Unfortunately, back testing is not talked about, or done, nearly enough. After all, people reason, running the same test is expensive and time-consuming. And the test did prove itself after all.
It's perfectly normal to want to save all that time and money just to prove something that already seems obvious. But the sad fact is that the direct-mail highway is littered with packages that failed to live up to their initial test results.
And in the long run — after new rounds of testing and more months of waiting and analyzing results — those packages ended up costing a lot more time and money than the back test would have.
Willis Turner believes great writing has the power to change minds, save lives, and make people want to dance and sing. Willis is the creative director at Huntsinger & Jeffer. He worked as a lead writer and creative director in the traditional advertising world for more than 15 years before making the switch to fundraising 20 years ago. In his work with nonprofit organizations and associations, he has written thousands of appeals, renewals and acquisition communications for every medium. He creates direct-response campaigns, and collateral communications materials that get attention, tell powerful stories and persuade people to take action or make a donation.