Friday, June 13, 2014

BIG’s Blog: How many…

How many of your direct mail pieces, even those sent to past donors, don’t even get opened?

What’s a great response to current donors … 13%?

So that means 87% of current donors didn’t respond with a gift. And worse … how many of that 87% “deep sixed” (didn’t even open) your mailing package? And these are your BEST donors!?

And you spent all that time on the copy … how many revisions … to get it right so you could most effectively share your mission’s need. And you have NO idea how many of the 87% - current donors – didn’t even read it.

When you get a direct mail appeal from a charity (yours or another), we all know that opening the letter obligates us to at least consider sending a check to help.

So there is the hurdle of … “if I open this letter, am I obligating myself to give?”

Face it, there’s a hurdle.

Is there an alternative? How about this?

Assuming you have a compelling mission, if everyday you were posting a really well-written story on your Website and weren’t asking for money, how many more people would read about your work and know about your organization/community?

No hurdles.

Right now some readers are feeling slightly uncomfortable at what I am describing and suggesting. I understand that.

Then why am I raising the issue?

Because the world has shifted and people’s “sensibilities” (yours and mine) have changed. My above questions would have been nonsensical 25 years ago.

Do you think that direct mail is becoming less effective only because more and more people are online? Not to mention the increasing costs to produce and mail . . .

The Internet has changed the playing field … the rules have changed … and along with it, people’s sensibilities.

You’ve heard of Google, right? You know, the place where you can look up anything … find anything?

So if you just put up stories on your Website … just stories and information … and NEVER asked for money on your Website … YES, I’m saying REMOVE your donate button! Without the hurdle (the obligation to give), how many more people would actually read your stories?

And, of course, there a bazillion more people online than you could ever afford to mail to.  

Here is a thought to ponder. Doesn’t it make more sense to share who you are, what you do … and why … and let people make up their own minds in their own time without an implied obligation?’

I know … I know … it turns transaction-focused fundraising upside down.

Build a relationship first before asking for support.

What a concept!

But how would you rather be treated?


Welcome to BIG's Blog!  Please feel free to forward this post to your friends and coworkers...and email me a comment at:

No comments:

Post a Comment