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Posts Tagged ‘Direct Marketing’

Christmas in July? Not Quite, but Close…

August 7, 2013 Leave a comment

by Heather Marsh 

It may only be August, but if you haven’t yet started planning for the year-end giving season, now’s the time! You may think you have plenty of time to put together your year-end campaigns, but before you know it, we’ll all be bundled up, eating turkey and missing the warm weather. Don’t get caught scrambling later — here are a few tips to help you get started:

Test Your Controls

In the next couple of months, you should focus on testing into the very best creative for year-end. Part of this process entails retesting all of your controls. Take the time to reevaluate campaign elements such as:

  • From Line
  • Email Signer
  • Ask Strings
  • Timing – Day of the Week or Hour of the Day

Make a Plan (and Plan to Change It)

Spend some time now planning your holiday schedule. Make sure you factor in a mix of email communications — this is prime giving season, but it’s also important to thank your donors and advocates for all the support they’ve already given this year. Review last year’s plan and results, plan to roll out with the big successes and continue the testing you worked on last year.

By planning ahead now, you’ll be prepared for those last-minute challenges that always come up. Give yourself as much flexibility within the plan as you can. You never know when a news event, such as last year’s terrible Sandy Hook tragedy on December 14, will require an adjustment to your schedule.

Get Started Now

Now that you’ve made your plan, get started right away! Plan your creative brainstorming sessions. Get your technical specifications and gather your troops. Evaluate your strategy to determine what’s realistic with your current resources, and arrange for extra support if needed.

Live Test Your Program

We’ve all had times when the brilliantly designed campaign strategy doesn’t quite translate to real-life success. Perhaps your welcome series needs some updates. Or it could be that your audience segmentation (or suppression) isn’t capturing everyone you intended it to. Literally put yourself in your donor’s shoes — walk their path to make sure all the systems are working as intended.

Bring It All Together

The good news is that your direct mail counterparts are bound to be thinking about year-end well in advance! Planning for your online campaign isn’t enough; you need to think about the complete donor experience. Spend some time reviewing the makeup of your donor file. How many receive both emails and direct mail? Will you have telefundraising campaigns running at the same time? Consider the overall message, making sure your donors will get a clear, consistent message. Don’t forget to look at your data processes as well.  Make sure you can include or exclude donors in as close to real-time as possible.

Other elements to consider now: Are your forms mobile and responsively designed? Have you updated your Google AdWords accounts to account for the new enhanced campaigns? (Speaking of that — don’t forget to renew your Google Grant accounts!)

Whatever you’re planning, get started now!

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Heather_MarshHeather is Director of Digital Marketing for ABD Direct, a division of AB Data, Ltd. She has 10 years of direct marketing experience, and has worked with clients such as Wounded Warrior Project, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, The Wilderness Society, Disabled American Veterans, and many others. She feels strongly that it is time to take a holistic approach to marketing – bringing digital, mail and other channels together to maximize communication with donors. She can be reached at heather.marsh@abdata.com

Innovation and Integration Take Center Stage at Next Week’s IFIC Forum

April 17, 2013 Leave a comment

By Greg Albright, Co-Founder and CCO of Production Solutions

Next week marks the return of one of the most sought-after and valuable direct marketing events in our industry.  Formerly DMAW’s Innovative Formats and Inventive Techniques Forum (IFIT), the forum is back after a two-year hiatus as the Innovative Formats and Integrated Campaigns Forum (IFIC).  I, along with a team of like-open-minded direct marketing volunteers (among them, DMAW’s current President, Mike DeFlavia), launched this forum 13 years ago to help connect decision makers with innovative suppliers in a one-day innovation showcase.  The best part of the forum is that each attendee leaves with a portfolio of package samples and successful campaign outlines which are meant to kick start the creative planning and dialogue upon their returning to work.

dmaw_IFIC-logo-print

I’m excited that the forum is back and better than ever this year with a new, and necessary, focus on integration.  The marketplace is thirsty for new ideas and has recognized that integration is necessary to evolve and stay relevant. Still, we know that direct mail is a big driver in direct marketing, especially in the fundraising arena. IFIC provides the best of both worlds: innovations on the direct mail side, as well as real, tangible ways to embrace integrated campaigns across several channels, including email, mobile, web, social and DRTV.

IFIC will feature 13 direct mail innovators and integrators, showcasing leading-edge formats as well as state-of-the-art integrated campaigns.  Each will distribute samples and has 15 minutes to present.  In a comfortable, no pressure environment presenters will be available for questions.

IFIC is not only a showcase of the best our industry has to offer, but also our industry at its best.  The forum was four months in the making and an all-volunteer effort by a diverse committee of more than a dozen members from both digital and traditional direct marketing agencies and production management firms. We can all benefit from their commitment to keeping our industry relevant and integration top of mind. IFIC is another example of industry engagement leading to industry evolution.  This is what it’s all about.

See you there! For more information about IFIC and to register, click here.

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Greg Albright is Co-Founder and CCO of Production Solutions, one of the largest marketing production management firms in the country.  He received the DMAW Award for Distinguished Achievement in DM in 2012, and is the author of The Right Hook, a weekly blog that showcases the best integrated marketing practices of rising and already-shining industry professionals, as well as great advice about enjoying a rewarding career by putting volunteerism front and center.

The Hidden Benefits of Volunteering within the Direct Marketing Industry

April 9, 2013 Leave a comment

By Greg Albright, CCO and Co-Founder, Production Solutions

When DMAW Board Member and Social Committee Chair, Mikaela King approached me to write a guest blog post on volunteerism, I was honored to write on something so near and dear to me.

A week before the 2012 Best of Direct reception, I was inspired by a funny story that industry leader, Tracy Lea told me about yours truly prior to being honored with the 2012 Award for Distinguished Achievement in Direct Marketing.   Evidently, I have this now-popular signature move where, evidently, I put my right arm around someone’s shoulder as I encourage a colleague to take an active role in an important industry function or cause.  Tracy coined it “Greg’s Right Hook.”  Clearly, I’ve “right-hooked” so many people in my direct marketing career that I’m famous (or is it notorious?) for this method of recruiting volunteers.

Reflecting on that further, I must admit that volunteering has done as much or more for my career, my business and my quality of life, as it has for the organizations I have been involved with.

Sure, there’s the feel-good factor, the pay-it-back or pay-it-forward factor, and solid client relations have been built over banquet tables and not-so-silent auction events.  Those are all extremely important things, but there’s more to it than that.  Volunteerism may the single most powerful career development and personal brand building tool available to direct marketers today.

Besides being able to learn from others’ experiences and getting to branch out and work side-by-side with industry colleagues, I’ve identified the top 5 “hidden” benefits of volunteering within the direct marketing industry based on my personal experiences these past 30 years in the industry.

1). You get to work with new people that you may never have had the opportunity to know before: you can never learn too much from too many people.

2). You get to learn from others’ experiences: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

3). You get to develop your personal brand: shine on!

4). You get to “preview” potential employees: watch them in action and see if they are a good fit for your own team before making an offer.

5). You get to “test drive” potential employers: whether you are looking for a career move now or in the future, what a great way to kick the proverbial tires.

When you read the list, some may come across sounding self-serving at first blush, but if you understand the “why’s” behind my reasoning, you will probably nod your head in surprised agreement, and will hopefully start volunteering tomorrow!  And, trust me DMAW won’t turn you away when you step up to the plate.  We are always looking for talent and enthusiasm, energy and ingenuity.  I started out on one committee three decades ago, and now, I’m writing blogs about my successful volunteering efforts and recruitment skills.  You have to start somewhere…why not with the DMAW?

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Greg was so inspired by his DMAW Award for Distinguished Achievement in DM and the important role that volunteerism has played in his life, he recently launched The Right Hook blog with the hope that he will inspire industry professionals by sharing his secrets to a rewarding career through industry engagement.  The Right Hook highlights the power of entrepreneurial curiosity, passion for innovation, and Greg’s deep belief that working together leads to success for everyone.

DMAW Call for Guest Bloggers

June 29, 2012 2 comments

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.

  1. Your blog should be a minimum of 400 – 450 words.
  2. Please put a title on your blog.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 jdoe@listcompany.com.
  5. Your potential post should not be published anywhere else since search engines frown upon duplicate content.
  6. 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 https://thedmaw.wordpress.com/category/guest-bloggers/

Interested?

If you are interested in writing a guest post on the DMAW blog, email social@dmaw.org 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.

How do your fundraising efforts stack up against other organizations?

May 15, 2012 Leave a comment

How do your fundraising efforts stack up against other organizations? Are you getting your share of the donor market? Gain some insight!

Attend the DMAW May Lunch and Learn on May 17 with Paige Grainger, Sr. Fundraising Analyst Target Analytics (a Blackbaud company)

Paige Grainger, Senior Fundraising Analyst, Target Analytics (a Blackbaud company), will present the summary report on Index of National Fundraising Performance 2011 which will highlight how nonprofits fared in their fundraising last year.  Learn how your nonprofit compares to others. Most importantly, gain insight to your 2012 efforts!

This Target Analytics report summarizes direct marketing giving for many of the largest non-profit organizations in the country.  Paige will present a 2011 vs. 2010 comparison of fundraising revenue across sectors: Animal Welfare, Arts & Culture, Environment, Health, Human Services, International Relief, Religion and Societal Benefit.

(If you plan to register on-site, we may not be able to provide a meal for you – so please do not wait! Register in advance!) We have a few seats remaining!

DMAW April 2012 Update

April 5, 2012 Leave a comment
With the Easter Holiday, Spring Break and general all-around nice weather upon us, I know you are busy, so this is a to-the-point DMAW update that is full of educational programs! (I’m also trying out  a new Update format – your feedback is welcomed!)

There are two items that I do need your help with if you have available time:

  1. If you have 5 years experience in direct marketing (with a specialty in any of the channels) then I need you!  Volunteer judges are needed to judge the 2012 MAXI Award entries on April 17th, 9:30AM – 5PM at Production Solutions, 1953 Gallows Road, Suite 600, Vienna, VA 22182.Just complete this form – DMAW MAXI Judge – and let me know your availability.
  2. Guest Bloggers for the DMAW blog – truly, it’s not hard!  Only 400-450 words, about your thoughts on a particular blogging issue.  Just send me an email and let me know that you would like submit a blog! (You will want to read the current blog by Allison King about “Getting Your ‘Mobile Mojo’ On!”) Click here for more details!

In the meantime, below is our great educational line-up for the next couple of months! The early bird deadline is coming up on a couple of them – so don’t miss out on these opportunities to save & learn!

Hope to see you soon at one of our events or even as a MAXI judge!

Best,

Donna Tschiffely

Executive Director

DMAW Monthly Lunch & Learn

Thursday, April 19, 2012

12 Noon – 2:00 PM

SEIU Conference Center

The ROI of Blogging

Bethany Bauman
Senior Director,
Digital Strategy, Merkle

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Cross Channel Marketing Symposium

Wednesday, May 9

8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Gannett/USA Today Conference Center

Early Bird Registration ends  Friday, April 6
Save $55 off the regular registration fee

Group rates available for 3 or more from the same firm/organization

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List Bazaar Summit

Wednesday, May 16

8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

The Conference Center At Heart House | American College of Cardiology

Washington, DC

Early Bird Registration ends  Friday, April 6
Save 15% off the regular registration fee

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Social Summit – Sharpening A Tool!

Capital Conference Center

Arlington VA

Early Bird Registration ends Wednesday, May 23

Liz Strauss, Keynote

Wednesday, June 27
5:30PM-8:30 PM

Educational Presentations

Thursday, June 28
8:00AM – 4:30PM

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DMAW MAXI Competition

Needs Judges!

Tuesday, April 17

9:30AM – 5:00PM

Production Solutions

1953 Gallows Road

Suite 600

Vienna, VA 22182

Lunch will be provided.

Aside from the privilege of being a judge…this is a great opportunity to sneak-a-peak at the campaigns of other marketing professionals and see the results that they are getting!

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7th Annual Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference

Harness the Winds of Change!

August 7-9, 2012

Gaylord National Hotel & Conference Center

Lowest Registration Fee Available Now!

Special Offer:  2-night Gaylord Hotel Package Stay + Registration Fee = $100 savings!

Call for Guest Bloggers

March 13, 2012 1 comment

The DMAW is seeking individuals interested in guest blogging!

What should you write about?

Definitely 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.

  1. Your blog should be a minimum of 400 – 450 words.
  2. Please put a title on your blog.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 jdoe@listcompany.com.
  5. Your potential post should not be published anywhere else since search engines frown upon duplicate content.
  6. 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 https://thedmaw.wordpress.com/category/guest-bloggers/

Interested?

If you are interested in writing a guest post on the DMAW blog, email social@dmaw.org 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 Bloggers, click here.

 

 

 

 

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