How to follow up on your direct mail appeal letter

Do you mail a spring or fall direct mail appeal letter and hope for the best?  Well, “a wing and a prayer” is not a strategy.  A strategy by definition is a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.

Here are some simple steps that you can take to follow up on that direct mail appeal letter beyond just putting a stamp on it and sending it out in the mail.

  1. About three weeks to a month after your appeal drops, determine what donors are about to “lapse” from the appeal.
  2. Of these, donors determine how many are major donors at whatever threshold it is that you have determined a “major donor” is for your organization.
  3. For those that you have indicated as “major donors,” determine if in-person visits or telephone calls are needed.
  4. Determine if there are key relationships with some of the regular, loyal donors and  perhaps segment these folks out to use a more personal
    approach i.e. visit, telephone call, or even (in some cases) an email.
  5. For those who are not major donors, determine if a second “lapsing” donor direct mail appeal letter is needed, or perhaps a gentle reminder “post” card.  If you would like to see a sample “Lapsing Donor” postcard, email me!
  6. Consider trying a telemarketing campaign to turn non-responders into responders.  (Direct mail telephone follow-up generates two to 10 times more response than direct mail with no telephone follow-up.)
  7. Create a series of social media posts and email blasts to send to your donor file. Do not send out emails to everyone on your list.  You want to be able to segment out those email addresses of donors who have already given to the appeal.

And, there you have some simple “how to’s” on how to maximize your appeal results while working to prevent lapsing donors.

And, if you need help developing a direct mail appeal follow-up strategy, let us help you! 

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