If It's Worth Saying, It's Worth Saying Again
The next year we mailed the identical package but with an important strategic difference: We actually mailed much deeper into the file. Because we sent it to people who weren't the best donors, we expected response to drop significantly (but that difference would be overcome by the higher volume of returns).
But because the message had proved its power, the response was only very slightly less: 4.88 percent. Given the big difference in the audiences, it was a pretty good return — especially when we compared it to the cost and risk of trying a new creative idea on an audience that has already supported the existing message.
Yet, as I said, it does feel weird if you're not used to it. So one way you can lower your discomfort is to hedge your bets by positioning the package as a regularly scheduled event: an annual fund, holiday fund, spring fund drive or whatever.
Now, nothing is true for all organizations all the time. But don't be afraid of repetition unless and until it proves itself a bad idea for your particular organization. There's too much to gain not to give it a try.
Willis believes in expressive writing, exceptional fundraising, and exuberant living.
Willis Turner is the senior copywriter at Huntsinger & Jeffer. He was an experienced writer and creative director in the traditional advertising world for more than 20 years before making the switch to fundraising nearly 15 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, as well as collateral materials and communications, that get attention, tell emotional stories, and persuade people to take action or make a donation.