Marketing and Direct Mail Tips

4. Lists

The mailing list is the single most important component of your appeal. Obviously, the best list is your list of current donors. But don’t forget to occasionally solicit lapsed donors. Consider telemarketing to those audiences in addition to mail.

Keep your donor mailing lists up to date. Obsolete data not only costs you money spent on undeliverable or misdirected mail, but can cause lost donations and can impact donor goodwill. Studies have found that on average, up to 20% of records within a typical house file are undeliverable. By keeping your data current, you will save on printing, mailing and postage costs. And the US Postal Service now requires you to comply with their Move Update regulations by updating your lists every 95 days.

There are several important list hygiene tools available to keep your data clean and accurate:

  • National Change of Address (NCOA) for new addresses of people who have moved
  • Deduping
  • “Do not mail” purging
  • Deceased recipient purging
  • Apartment number appending to increase deliverability.

The benefits of keeping your lists up to date include:

  • Control mailing waste to save on postage and printing
  • Reduce lost donations
  • Increase donor loyalty.

Eye/Comm can help you keep your lists clean and up‐to‐date.

Finding lists of prospective donors can be daunting. However there are several guidelines.

Test lists. Your list is not as exclusive as you think. Test lists to insure maximum results for your ongoing campaigns.

Target your lists. When searching for prospect lists, look for individuals who are sympathetic to your mission, are mail responsive, and have the capacity to give. By utilizing available list targeting tools it is possible to find prospects that most closely resemble your best donors. You can customize a list to your specific cause and overlay demographic and psychographic intelligence onto your donor data.

Profile you donor list. Sophisticated list profiling is now a reality. Through a powerful array of new market segmentation tools you can profile the unique characteristics of your best donors and identify and target new prospects most like them. This allows you to open new channels to reach your donors and prospects using the methods they prefer. You can send more specific, personalized offers (as opposed to generic, one‐size‐fits‐all appeals). The results can boost your direct response rate, increase your market penetration, and dramatically improve your fundraising ROI. Eye/Comm can show you how.

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