by Heather Bien
Last week over 20 direct marketing professionals came together for Direct Marketing 101 Workshop (DM101). While backgrounds ranged from direct marketing agency professionals to nonprofit employees managing direct marketing within their own organization, most attendees came in with 1-3 years of direct marketing experience and were eager to hear from Washington area experts in the field.
The morning started with a lesson in Creative from Steve Fleshman of DR2. Attendees learned the tricks of the trade in making your mailing stand out from the countless other direct marketing pieces that people receive on any given day. Did you know that lots of enclosures increase the amount of time a potential donor spends with a mailing package? Or that a letter signer lower down the “food chain” at an organization actually lifts response? And a lift note can increase response rates by 10%!
Next, Nancy Guy Freeman walked us through Direct Mail Production. Her decades of experience helped attendees understand the most cost effective ways to work with a printer and mailhouse. Ms. Freeman was followed by Lisa Riordan of Infogroup Nonprofit. Ms. Riordan emphasized the importance of data processing as standardizing, correcting, validating, and enhancing. Clean data increases efficiency and brings down costs so merge-purge optimization is central to any well run direct marketing program.
Kevin Litten of EU Services began the afternoon with a lesson in mailshop options that attendees may not have considered before, such as postcard acknowledgement programs, self-mailers for
Following Mr. Litten was Kelly Leech of Carol Enters List Company. Ms. Leech set out to convince us that sharing names and lists is not a bad thing! List brokers are experts on determining which lists are best to share among which nonprofits and can use their market knowledge to think outside the box and provide an organization with the best results for acquisition.instant impact, low cost marketing materials, and invitation style mailers. Mr. Litten also walked us through a few postage tricks of the trade such as using miscellaneous stamps on in house mailings to give them a more personal feel, postage “indicias” which puts the logo of an organization in a postage meter, and intelligent mail bar codes.
Tracy Lea explained the ins and outs of a successful telemarketing campaign. Telemarketing can and should be used for successful reinstatement, stewardship, and relationship building. A no on the phone should lead to a letter thanking the potential donor for their time – this tactic typically sees higher response rates through the mail than a letter alone. Telemarketing is an essential part of fundraising as multi-channel donors have a higher lifetime value than just mail or email donors.
Barb Perell of Avalon Consulting wrapped up the day with an overview of Online Fundraising. Again, the multi-channel donor came into play as she explained the importance of coordinating communications across all fundraising channels. It’s also essential to make sure emails are segmented to certain donors through the use of data, are to the point, and are part of a larger email campaign plan. Don’t just send out an eblast one time – create an entire email marketing plan and remember to use catchy subject lines, photos, and time them according to when your donors tend to open email (use data!)
All attendees, regardless of their previous background and experience, left DM101 with a greater understanding of direct marketing and new ideas and fresh concepts to take back to their own organization. DM201 is May 15 and it is sure to be an even deeper dive into the world of direct marketing – don’t forget to register today!
The DM101 workshop was made possible through several wonderful sponsors: Colortree Group, Metropolitan Companies, Inc., Bigeye Direct, National Mail Graphics Corporation, and RWT Production, LLC.
Heather Bien is the Manager of the Annual Fund at Washington National Cathedral where she has worked since December 2010. She can be reached at email@example.com.
by Danielle Hart
On Thursday, February 21st, both left and right side direct marketing experts convened to hear two of the biggest names in political fundraising speak about their success with raising over a billion dollars during the past election. The DMAW presented Mike Conlow, the Deputy Chief Technology Officer for the Obama for America campaign and Patrick Ruffini, Republican Political Strategist and President of Engage to provide the audience with their insight.
The panel discussion opened with the question “What was the major turning point in November’s election?”
Mike started the dialog by emphasizing how important the decision to invest in technology (analytics & data) early in the campaign was to the success of the Obama for America (OFA) campaign. The OFA campaign staffed over 200 people and invested early to overcome any problems they encountered before the campaign. Mike revealed that in the beginning of the campaign, the OFA staff tweeting was frowned upon, but by the end of the campaign the staff was given example messages that they had the choice to tweet in their own words.
Patrick, representing the Republican side of the story indicated that technology was the difference between the outcomes of the two campaigns and that there was no tweeting policy for the Republican Party.
The two were then asked “What do you think will be the next technological advancement?”
Patrick was passionate in his response that the amount of social information will contribute to the success of future political campaigns. He predicts that the social graph will marry the political graph and the information people post on Facebook and other social media channels will allow campaigns to micro-target people based on their behavior.
Mike added that he believes the information about the competition’s marketing efforts will become more available and that Google might be the one to sell some of this information. He also predicts advancement in the ability to better target TV ads towards specific audiences.
The discussion concluded with the question “What is the most important tip to take away from this panel?”
Both panelists agreed on how important our networks are in today’s society. Whether it’s a cold call, a Facebook message, or a knock on the door, if it’s from someone you know, you will be much more receptive to the message. Leveraging this concept for campaigns and putting your message in the hands of someone that can influence your target audience will drive success for any campaign.
Throughout the discussion, both Mike and Patrick laughed at the lighthearted comments of opposing political party affiliations. After the discussion, the two fessed up that it was their first time meeting in person and they had only had Twitter interactions before the event. In the end, despite the political party Direct Marketers affiliate with, we can all agree that the lessons learned from Mike and Patrick will help us in future direct response campaigns.
Danielle Hart doubles as an Online Fundraising Account Manager at The Engage Group and a Postal Logistics Account Manager at MailSmart Logistics. She can be reached at Danielle@engageyourcause.com or found on her personal website at www.daniellehart.com
The DMAW is seeking individuals interested in guest blogging!
What should you write about?
Something related to direct marketing or other popular/relevant marketing topics. Your post could be about best practices, tips and tricks, your view of a marketing related subject, professional insight (i.e. what I’ve learned), or event related (i.e. monthly luncheon recap), again, marketing related. Your post cannot be focused on selling or directly promoting your products and/or services.
Any guidelines? Yes, but very simple.
- Your blog should be a minimum of 400 – 450 words.
- Please put a title on your blog.
- Your post needs to have at least one photo related to the topic. If you don’t have one, we may insert a photo ourselves.
- Include a maximum of two sentences about you as well as a photo of yourself to be placed at the footer. For example, John Doe is the Vice President of List Company and can be reached at (999) 999-9999 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Your potential post should not be published anywhere else since search engines frown upon duplicate content.
- The DMAW can use discretion on posting content that is inappropriate and/or is focused on selling or promoting a product/service. The DMAW has the authority to edit posts (the author will be consulted, should this happen), if deemed necessary.
To see past posts from guest bloggers, go to http://thedmaw.wordpress.com/category/guest-bloggers/
If you are interested in writing a guest post on the DMAW blog, email email@example.com and use the subject line: Guest Blogger. Be sure to include a few sentences describing what you would like to write.
Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and colleagues!
For a printable version of the DMAW Call for Guest Bloggers, click here.