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October 12th, 2015 Posted in Direct Mail, Fundraising

Getting the envelope opened is more than half the
battle in fundraising.

Here’s how to make that battle one you can win.

Size up your envelope:
No. 10 envelopes abound. To change things up, consider larger No. 11 and No. 12 envelopes and smaller Monarchs. Try different colors and textures too.

Write the address:
A handwritten mailing address (or one that looks handwritten) will almost always outperform one in a standard font.

Window or no?
If you usually use window envelopes, try closed face. They cost more but often increase response.

Consider the corner card:
The corner card is the return-address area. People instinctively look there to see who the letter is from. So vary it. Try it without a logo. Try just the director’s name and address, without the organization name. Try no return address. Changing things can generate interest.

Think in reverse:
Try additional messaging on the reverse side of the envelope. Donors often look at both sides before deciding to open the envelope, so an extra prompt usually boosts response.

Make the teaser tease:
Don’t tell the whole story with your teaser. Instead, ask a provocative question, hint at gift inside, refer to an intangible benefit like changing a life or doing good, play off of a current event, and so on. Arouse curiosity. On the other hand, if you have a matching grant, a multiplier, or other specific offer, say so clearly. These are proven motivators. Teasers are tricky, though. An envelope without a teaser will usually beat an envelope with one.
By Jeff Nickel
August 2015
Hilborn Charity Newsletter 

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