Non Profit Times hints for maximizing direct mail reach

Even though direct mail has a reputation as so yesterday when it comes to reaching donors, it has constantly performed as the most cost-effective and wide-reaching fundraising method.

During the recent Association For Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) international conference in Boston, Mass., Connie Boyd of IdeaMail Direct and Debra Capitan of the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, Calif., gave tips on how to succeed with this not really dying fundraising channel.

* Plain Packaging — Testing shows that the most effective direct mail package for health care consists of four components, a carrier (outer) envelope, letter on foundation or hospital letterhead, reply slip and reply envelope.

* Avoid “Fancy” Packages — A large package with brochures or other enclosures won’t work well. It will cost more and perform worse. Keep consistent branding a hallmark of the packaging.

* Writing Style — Remember to keep the language personal, informal and conversational. The copy should be fast-paced, easy to read and concrete.

* It’s About Them, Not You — The focus of your direct mail should be appealing to the donor, not about fundraising goals. In order of importance, the focus of your appeals should be: the donor’s emotional and psychological needs; the needs of the people served by your organization; the hospital’s mission; and, the foundation’s fundraising goals.

About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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