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A Direct Mail Writing Primer

March 20, 2017

Have you ever had your direct mail copy hijacked by your board, volunteers, or communications department? Are you new to fundraising, and not sure how to approach writing your direct mail appeals? Are you not entirely clear on what direct response approaches are considered to be tested and true? Have you ever had a signatory […]

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How To Get Your Donor’s Attention

November 30, 2016

Direct mail and the seemingly innocent outer envelope. Who knew the combination of the two could elicit such conversation and discussion! “What should we have on the outer envelope?”   “We need a teaser that will ‘grab’ our donors.” “A teaser alone won’t work: we need to add a great photo that connects to the tagline.” […]

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2016 Fundraising Challenges: 4 Ways You Can Respond Today

November 8, 2016

The wildfires in Fort McMurray and the threat of strike action by Canada Post this past spring caused a near-perfect storm, wreaking havoc on Canadian non-profits, particularly those who are solely or predominantly focused on direct mail. Conversely, the organizations using a multichannel fundraising approach seem to have fared a little better. Why? Because even […]

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Ready, Set, Ask! Demystifying Your Gift Array

October 25, 2016

You know the old adage: if you don’t ask your donors to give, they won’t! How much then is an appropriate, thoughtful ask? Not surprisingly, there is no magic formula.  It depends on the offer, the need (is it an emergency appeal?), time of year, type of donor (active or lapsed?)….and more. Here are a […]

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What Makes A Successful Direct Mail Reply Coupon

October 5, 2016

The business reply coupon (BRC) is that little (or sometimes half- or even or full-page) charitable donation slip that a generous donor sends back with their hard-earned cash to your organization to make a gift. It exists simply for the donor to return their gift to you in the most elegant way possible. Your BRC needs […]

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How To Get Your Direct Mail Envelope Opened

August 31, 2016

Many fundraisers spend entirely too much time on their direct mail letters. Is the signatory a good storyteller? Is the ask strong enough? The subject compelling? I’m guilty of this as well. But, in reality, nothing much matters if the donor (or prospective donor) never opens your envelope! Today’s post is all about how best […]

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DM 101: How To Plan A Direct Mail Campaign (Part 1 of 3)

June 23, 2016

Let’s face it – there are a lot of moving parts when you plan a direct mail campaign.  It’s easy to become overwhelmed and bogged down in a maze of details and to-do lists.  In this 3-part series, I’ll break down how to plan, create, and evaluate your mail campaigns so you can successfully navigate your […]

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Direct Mail in 2016: A Check In

June 8, 2016

Back in January, I wrote about the state of direct mail in 2015, and what charities should watch for and expect in direct mail in 2016. Six months into the year, it’s time for a check-in. The Analysis In 2015, we were faced with a lot of external factors that didn’t have a huge impact […]

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Simple Lettershop Secrets For Seamless Direct Mail

May 31, 2016

You’ve created a Direct Mail plan and gotten the budget approved. You’ve harassed your data guy, the graphic designer, and the print supplier.  Now, you can finally send everything off to the lettershop and wait for the responses and donations to roll in. Right? Maybe, maybe not. Before you sit back and breathe a sigh […]

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How To Survive A Canada Post Strike

May 24, 2016

UPDATE 10 (August 17, 9:30 AM ):  It’s been quiet for some time, but we’re now hearing rumblings from both Canada Post and CUPW. What it comes down to is this: CUPW’s strike vote will become invalid on August 25. That means they can issue a 72-hour strike notice at any time before then, but after that […]