We’ve all heard of a merge/purge and in general, know what this particular chunk of direct mail jargon means. But do you know how sophisticated the merge/purge process has become?
The USPS is out with a reminder of the new postal regulations that went into effect in January, and they mean business. The Post Office has made it clear that they’re going to be sticklers for detail and won’t accept any variances to full compliance with their rules. So let’s go over the top three most important changes:
Here we go again! The Postal Regulatory Commission is reviewing proposed postage increases, and if approved, the rates will be effective on January 27, 2013. The proposed rates include a one-cent increase for first-class mail and a 2-4% increase in standard and non-profit mail, depending on the level of automation.
The good news is that we’ve outlined below some best practices to help you maximize your postal discounts:
As you’re budgeting, the inclination is always to try to decrease your per-piece direct mail costs. But how? At Avalon, we’ve created an internal committee tasked with shaving direct mail package costs through tried-and-true methods and strategies.
If your year-end planning isn’t on the front burner yet, move it there now! Remember, donors are paying attention and looking for last-minute giving opportunities at the end of the year.
Given the number of questions we field about compiled lists, here are answers to some of the FAQ on the subject:
What is a “compiled list” and how does it differ from a traditional acquisition list?
Compiled lists are lists that have been cooperatively assembled from a variety of sources and contain non-unique names. The most prominent companies offering compiled lists include Wiland, Epsilon (Abacus), and DonorBase. Usually, these lists are prospective donors with a profile consisting of several transactions from a variety of non-profit and for-profit organizations, like catalogs, publishers, and retail stores, often with 20 or more collected transactions for each name, for a fuller picture of donors giving/buying habits. A traditional donor acquisition list contains names from one organization, and some of the people on that list may have only made one contribution ever – not a clear picture of that donor’s giving capacity or preference.
This month, we bring you two more Avalon client case studies, describing year-end and eRenewal campaigns that were performing well – could we find room for improvement?
As with any nonprofit organization, the year-end appeal is typically the League of Women Voters’ strongest appeal. In the fall of 2011, on the cusp of the Presidential primaries, Avalon and the League sought to take advantage of the giving season and the League’s relevant issues in the news to maximize giving.
At some point, all nonprofits are affected by a major external event — a devastating natural disaster; a Supreme Court decision; a presidential candidate making an outrageous statement on their issues — and must turn on a dime to raise donors’ awareness and/or appeal to them for support.
The League of Women Voters has a mature prospecting program. Like many well-established direct marketing programs, it was necessary to prepare for the future marketplace and go beyond traditional trades and exchanges. Avalon designed a modeling program to increase the League’s ROI, and give it a competitive edge in the mailbox by more tightly targeting our prospective donors.