Electrifying Results: Fundraising Insights to Move the Needle for Your Nonprofit

Creating a Productive Direct Mail Package


Photo by Howard Lake.

Continuing our conversation on direct mail, today’s post highlights the importance of a productive direct mail package.

Your most important consideration in any productive package is your audience. Keep your target audience in mind at all times when writing and creating your package. Better yet, think of one person within your target audience and write to her or him.

Consider the following:

  • The outer envelope. Of utmost importance is getting your reader to open your envelope. It doesn’t matter how well you’ve written your letter or that you’ve included a brochure if your donor doesn’t open the envelope. Perhaps a plain white envelope with only the organization’s address will create enough intrigue to open the letter, or perhaps a photograph of individuals needing assistance with an urgent plea for help is needed. Consider what is most effective for your audience and your organization.
  • How long will your letter be? Your letter needs to be well-written and easily scanned no matter the length. Don’t start your letter with a set length in mind. Say what needs to be said and make it compelling.
  • Will the return envelope be postage-paid? Gail Perry, MBA, CFRE, and international fundraising consultant, would say yes.
  • Who is signing the letter and is it an electronic signature or a personal signature? I just received a letter from my alma mater signed by the President. He wasn’t president when I went there, and I have never met him. His electronic signature meant nothing to me. I’d have much rather heard from a former professor or a student currently in my program (as long as said student was articulate).
  • How much personalization is possible? You’d better be addressing people by name in this day and age, but is it feasible to include variable printing of entire paragraphs or photos depending on last gift date or constituency?
  • What is the reader being asked to do? There should be a clear and concise call to action. This call to action should be repeated.
  • What is the overall look and feel? Does your writing style and letter design reflect what your donors see in your other l materials, on your website and in your emails? Consistency will reinforce your brand, your message and your awareness.

AMPERAGE Fundraising Advisers is a full-service fundraising company whose mission is to move the needle for our clients. For more information on Amperage Fundraising Advisers or to make a recommendation for a future blog post, contact us today!