Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Conference Preparation and Ideas

I like to present at conferences on a consistent basis because it leads to much greater thinking and review of what I am doing and why I do it that way. I am presenting at the Northeast Annual Giving Conference (NEAGC) on Thursday on direct mail and am finding that this holds true with my presentation this time. Of particular interest is the subject of PURLS. While I am talking about mail, the PURL is one of many points of integration that I am going to emphasize.

I would really strongly recommend to anyone who has not already done so to try at least a PURL. The campaign can be as simple as a year end email and postcard series that encourages folks to make a gift before the end of your fiscal year. You can get very complicated on the landing page and all of the online components here but that is not my focus this week - I am really looking at how do you leverage the electronic tools to maintain a steady "stream" of fiscal year end communications to encourage donations.

Utilizing the back end of the PURL campaign you can readily monitor who has interest in giving and then follow up with a combination of postcard and emails. Even better, utilizing variable data printing through an on-demand online printer (they are out there) you can provide unique imagery, and focus it on those who have opened the PURL with a "come back we still need you" style message as compared to those who have not done so and then within the groups, match the postcard imagery to that which has meaning to them. ie: athletic alumni get an image showing the athletics facilities full of students and verbiage saying imagine how much less appealing this picture would be without the students - your gift ensures that won't happen.

You can also use email imagery and verbiage to test this - using a/b testing on email identify the imagery that resonates best and then try using that same imagery on postcards. We know a great deal about our constituents and can learn a great about their behavior this way but inherently don't do so in the way that our for-profit colleagues do. The actions are simple and affordable - take advantage of it before another non-profit comes along that will.


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