How to make your mid-year appeal stands out from the competition?
While hopefully our tips last week helped close the gap on any Christmas appeal shortfall, this week we want to help you get on the front foot and ensure your mid-year appeal stands out from the crowd. Here are our top tips for developing a successful direct mail campaign….
Plan and Prepare Planning and preparation is undoubtedly the key to ensuring your direct mail campaign achieves its full potential. Start now by preparing an appeal brief that will become the road-map for your appeal and ensure everyone is on the same page. The central brief can then be adapted to provide critical information for copywriters, graphic designers and other people involved in the development of the appeal. The brief should include your objectives and set out the strategy that you will use to achieve them. It should provide information about theme and key messaging as well as include a budget and timeline. When planning your campaign it is vital you consider how it will integrate with your other fundraising activity and how you may utilize existing opportunities for promoting your appeal.
Carefully Consider Timing While organisations traditionally mail their mid-year appeal in mid to late May, this is not necessarily the best time. If your donors are not likely to be claiming a tax deduction, then mailing your appeal earlier may help you get a bigger slice of the pie. If you appeal is high impact and compels tax-paying donors to act immediately, you may be better to mail in June. When considering timing, it is not only the date you should think of but also the day of the week the appeal will hit mail boxes. Ideally you should be aiming for people to receive their direct mail pack on a Wednesday or Thursday when it is most likely to receive their attention and be acted upon quickly.
Write a Standout Appeal Letter The strongest direct mail campaign can still end in disaster if you do not get the appeal letter right. Writing effective donor communication is an art-form that must be practised and perfected. If you do not have the skill within your team, you should consider engaging a donor communication specialist to craft a letter that has the right mix of storytelling, sincerity, information and inspiration. It doesn’t matter if you letter is long or short, what matters is that it is donor-focussed and paints a vivid picture of the role the reader will play in your future success.
If this can be done in short and punchy one-pager, then why risk diluting your message with pages of text. Over the years O’Keefe and Partners have been behind many successful direct mail campaigns. Unlike some larger agencies who have a formulaic approach direct mail, OKP work closely with our clients to develop campaigns tailored to the specific needs of each organisation and its donors. We don’t just design and execute entire campaigns, we also offer services to support existing direct mail programs such as copywriting, appeal analysis and brief preparation. If you need help with your direct mail program, please contact us on 1300 721 199 or jot us an email.