I know, you probably hear it all the time but I don’t see charities trying it enough anymore. I know money is tight but you should constantly be testing something to see what your donors respond to and what they don’t respond to.
Testing is most common with direct mail but take a cue from the corporate world – you can test anything in any media – but for now, let’s take a look at direct mail.
If you have a control prospect package (which basically means it is a mailer you use annually, twice a year, etc) that consistently performs for you – you should be trying to make it better and beat it every time you mail. Here are some suggestions (and the list can be endless) – some more costly than others:
1. Try adding/removing/changing the tag line.
2. Using a picture vs not using a picture.
3. 4 colour vs 2 colour.
4. A different size envelope vs. the one you are currently using.
5. A differnet stock colour.
6. A first class stamp.
1. Adding a lift note or insert vs no lift note or insert.
2. A longer/shorter letter.
6. Letter signers.
Again, once you start to think about it – it is easy to come up with some testable ideas.
That being said – there are two things you need to keep in mind. And these are also forgotten in the heat of testing…
Test one thing. Sorry, I know you’ve got all these great ideas, but it is the only way you’ll be able to say “This test made a difference/no difference”.
And – don’t test things that will unlikely to change your response rate – remember – you are trying to raise money so only test things that hopefully will make more people respond and – give more money.