I remember you! (kind of)

I love analyzing direct mail. I am the penultimate geek. Good news for you is that I do this so you don’t have to learn the tips and tricks that others are doing.

Like this piece.

I received this piece in September, well before I was thinking anything about Thanksgiving or holiday cards. To give you history on my relationship with this company, I ordered my daughter’s graduation announcements this past spring from this company. That’s it. I’ve never ordered from them before, I used to order from their competitor and then had a bad experience with product quality, so when it came to graduation announcements, I chose someone else to print them.

They could have sent me a coupon, an oversized postcard with a coupon or “XYZ off” on it. I would have glanced at it and thrown it in the trash. But this? This made me read it.

The envelope looked like a personal letter. I didn’t remember the name of the company I had ordered invitations from, so I was curious which made me open the envelope. (Psst…this is the first hurdle to overcome, getting your letter opened!) But they were kind enough to remind me in the very first sentence of the letter that I ordered graduation announcements from them. Of course! They knew I was a new customer and were happy to have me as a customer. And would I please order from them again using the enclosed coupon for 40%, as we near the holiday card season?

Yes. Yes I will.

Not because their products are superior. They might be, but their customer service was exemplary from the very start of this communication. Bravo!

Now I ask you, when someone donates to your organization for the first time, what do you send to them? Do you send them your standard receipt letter, and then another letter asking for a second gift?

This is where welcome packets or a welcome series comes into play. If you’ve got the resources, create a welcome packet with a personalized letter, a brochure that talks about the mission of your organization and how donations support it, and a little reply device which, if the person is so inspired by the piece, they can send in another gift. If possible, you can send in multiple steps, reminding people with everyone mailing that they donated to you and what their dollars are doing. If you don’t have a lot of resources, sending a hand-written “welcome and thank you!” note will suffice. Or, make a personal welcome thank-you call.

Tight on time? Write the copy and ask volunteers to write these letters for you. If you choose to make calls, nothing says “I matter” to a donor more than a welcome call from a board member hungry for ways to support their favorite organization.

No matter the size of your organization or the resources available, growing your donor base by welcoming each and every new donor is key to growing the future support for your mission and is worth the time.

If you like this idea, send me a message via my contact form with your postal address and I’ll send you this year’s holiday card, thanks to Simply to Impress!

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