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Creative Cautionary Tips

When it comes to creative in your direct mail fundraising, sometimes what seems like a great idea may not turn out to be. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating your next fundraising appeal:

To tease or not to tease?

Teasers on the outer envelope that refer directly to the offer/ benefit, or alert the donor about the free gift or member card inside often work best. If you’re just including a teaser to be clever, skip it. Your copy must be extremely provocative for this kind of teaser to work – and testing proves it usually doesn’t. “Blind” carriers – those without teaser copy or logos – often are the ones that win, especially in acquisition or for organizations without high brand awareness.

Caution with inserts

Have a great new insert you’re considering to include in your package – brochure, lift note, recent news article? Make sure you test with and without the insert. While an insert might provide great additional information about your mission – they also might depress response. It’s counter-intuitive, but I’ve seen it happen too many times.

Focus on the big idea and not the window dressing 

Too often in the world of direct response fundraising, fancy design gets in the way of what it
is you’re really trying to accomplish: convincing a donor that the non-profit’s mission is worthy of her support. I’ve found that a clean, simple layout almost always wins over something that’s flashy and over-designed (usually distracting from the readability of the piece). At the end of the day, the job of creative is to create revenue – not beauty.

Katapult MarketingCreative Cautionary Tips