BREWER DIRECT WHITE PAPER 12 KEYS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DIRECT MARKETING PROGRAM for CATHOLIC CHARITIES

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1 BREWER DIRECT WHITE PAPER 12 KEYS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DIRECT MARKETING PROGRAM for CATHOLIC CHARITIES

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3 Randy Brewer, President and CEO of Brewer Direct Inc., presented this paper via a webinar in the fall of 2013 to fundraising and marketing leadership working for Catholic Charities organizations in the United States. Randy Brewer has spent half his life in marketing, PR and fundraising for non-profit organizations. Prior to starting Brewer Direct, Inc. in April of 2004, Randy served as Sr. VP at Grizzard and was the Account Executive for the Los Angeles Mission for the Russ Reid Company and was media manager for a local newspaper. Under Randy s leadership millions of dollars have been generated and hundreds of thousands of new donors acquired to help the non-profit ministry throughout America. An ordained minister with degrees in Christian Education from Azusa Pacific University and studies in theology from Fuller Seminary and business fron the University of Phoenix, Randy has also served in public relations with Focus on the Family and marketing with World Vision. Randy Brewer lives in Monrovia, CA, where he is actively involved in the local church and the community. Randy also serves on the board of African Enterprise USA, a 50-year-old evangelistic and relief ministry in Africa. 12 KEYS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DIRECT MARKETING PROGRAM for CATHOLIC CHARITIES 3

4 Direct marketing is, very simply, advertising that seeks a measured response and is validated by a specific action. For example, a Drink Coke billboard is general advertising; but when you post a Drink Coke Call DRINK NOW billboard, it becomes direct marketing advertising seeking an immediate and measurable action. In the non-profit world, direct marketing is actually fundraising. It s communication with your donors, constituents and volunteers, seeking a response. Let me briefly share 12 key direct marketing fundraising principles.

5 12 KEYS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DIRECT MARKETING PROGRAM for CATHOLIC CHARITIES 5

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7 Key #1: First & Foremost Data. Direct marketing must be data driven. I can t tell you how many times I ve heard the following in a campaign presentation meeting: I don t like that. What we really need to ask is: What do our donors think of this idea or offer? The only way to know that is to analyze the data. In direct marketing fundraising, you must select a software tool that allows you track that data. Raiser s Edge, DonorPerfect, PledgeMaker and a number of other products will allow you to track and measure the data. In fact, the success of Keys # 2- # 12 is contingent on accurately capturing and analyzing the data. 12 KEYS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DIRECT MARKETING PROGRAM for CATHOLIC CHARITIES 7

8 Key #2: Without a vision, the people perish.

9 Without a plan, the vision perishes. Without money, the plan perishes. Bottom line: You need a plan. Maybe you recognize the acronym SMART: goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based. Study this simple tool for capturing and monitoring a 12-month integrated marketing plan across the top are months of the year and down the left are the communication channels. Of course, it s important that all your fundraising stakeholders are engaged in this planning process. 12 KEYS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DIRECT MARKETING PROGRAM for CATHOLIC CHARITIES 9

10 Key #3: Mail, Baby, Mail. Direct mail is the most significant direct marketing channel in terms of responses and income. However, that may change over the next several years as digital channels become more prevalent. I m frequently asked how often to mail. The answer is, as often as it s profitable (remember Key # 1 data is king). Of course, individual donor preferences should always supersede profit. But here s the bottom line: ROI must be calculated for each donor segment and based on a carefully analyzed plan and schedule of your direct mail campaigns.

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12 Key #4: New Donor Acquisition. Pamela Barden, CFRE, teaches, Ignoring acquisition is one way to commit organizational suicide. Whether you call it churn or attrition, the reality is that a certain percentage of donors will be lost every year. (Again, it s all about understanding your data.)

13 New donor acquisition is key; there are a number of strategies, including renting direct mail lists (tens of thousands of lists are available for rent), newspaper inserts, radio and television advertising, etc. In order to have a growing, thriving, healthy direct marketing program, you must acquire new donors. 12 KEYS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DIRECT MARKETING PROGRAM for CATHOLIC CHARITIES 13

14 Key #5: Be Creative... be inspirational, not institutional.

15 This goes for newsletters, e-bulletins and s, your website and certainly for direct mail. Your donors care more about those you serve than they care about you; they want to know their gifts are making a difference. So think of creative as a three-legged stool: the package, the offer and the target audience. The package design must support the big idea. The offer tells donors what you want them to do and must be specific and focused. The target audience is found by determining which donors are selected for each mailing, and this decision is made by returning to Key #1 and analyzing your data. 12 KEYS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DIRECT MARKETING PROGRAM for CATHOLIC CHARITIES 15

16 Key #6: It s good to be liberal when thanking your donors. I recommend a 24-hour turn around for all gift receipts. Let me share a personal story. I gave a fairly large gift, for the first time, to two large charities. One of the charities sent a standard thank you letter, not signed and not personalized and two months after the date of my gift. The other charity sent me a thank you letter within days of my gift along with an , a phone call, an invitation to breakfast and two follow-up letters not asking for money. So which one do you think I ll support again in the future?

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19 Key #7: Don t wait, integrate. Think about all aspects of your direct marketing program mail, mobile, social media, telemarketing, website, etc. Be sure that your logo, taglines, photos, and specific words and phrases are consistent across all your communication channels. Additionally, create synergy by coordinating the timing of each channel. For instance, you could deploy your e-appeal three days after the direct mail piece hits your donors mailboxes, specifically noting the direct mail appeal. Or perhaps you send the e-appeal two or three days ahead of the direct mail piece and include an announcement to watch your mailbox. It s important to make sure schedules are thoughtfully planned as well as consistent and uniform across multiple channels. 12 KEYS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DIRECT MARKETING PROGRAM for CATHOLIC CHARITIES 19

20 Key #8: Go digital. Everybody s excited about digital. Ten years ago, Facebook didn t exist; Twitter was a sound; the Cloud was in the sky; 4G was a parking place; LinkedIn was a prison; applications were documents you mailed to a college and Skype was a typo. How those meanings have changed!

21 Today, you need to be thinking about all the digital possibilities. Be sure that the messages and the branding are synergized across all these channels. Digital may not raise a lot of money, but it will bring attention to your cause. 12 KEYS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DIRECT MARKETING PROGRAM for CATHOLIC CHARITIES 21

22 Key #9: Crying for help.

23 When should you start getting help from an agency? Let s say you re new and just beginning this effort you can probably do a lot of this work on your own! But when you re ready to start growing your donor file and have several thousand donors that need segmentation in your files, you ll need to start looking for help. Your local AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) Chapter is a good source for identifying consultants. Obviously, Catholic Charities USA is another great source. Here s the bottom line: When you grow to a certain level one where you re most likely doing monthly mailings and segmenting your donors by RFM you may need to seek outside counsel. 12 KEYS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DIRECT MARKETING PROGRAM for CATHOLIC CHARITIES 23

24 When it comes to major donors and new donors, it s very important to think relationship. No matter how much you focus on creative to make your direct mail personal, it s still direct mail. Direct marketing will never take the place of a personal relationship.

25 Key #10: The personal touch. I remember a story of a new donor who gave $500 to a charity. The development director called to say thank you, and the donor asked for a tour. The donor eventually made another donation of $75,000. That doesn t happen all the time, but it does happen. So it s very important that you think beyond direct marketing remember, it s all about relationships. 12 KEYS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DIRECT MARKETING PROGRAM for CATHOLIC CHARITIES 25

26 Key #11: Telemarketing. Everybody hates phone calls, especially at dinner, but telemarketing works and should be integrated into your direct marketing program. Telemarketing is effective for thanking donors. It can also be used to upgrade donors; maybe even to ask them to become members of your monthly donor club. And it s a great tool for reactivating lapsed donors. There are a number of good telemarketing firms, so it s important that you integrate telemarketing into your direct marketing program.

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28 Key #12 goes back to Key #1: Inspect your data. Measure your ROI, response rate, average gift, cost per piece in the mail, revenue per donor and the long-term value of your donors. Understand how different donor segments are performing, specifically new donors, multi-year donors, lapsed donors and large donors. What s your retention rate and attrition rate for each segment?

29 These metrics tracked and projected over a period of two to three years, maybe even five years, provide you with the data to address any alarming trends and allow you to take advantage of trends that have the potential of exceeding expectations. 12 KEYS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DIRECT MARKETING PROGRAM for CATHOLIC CHARITIES 29

30 When I started, I suggested there are 12 keys, but now, let me give you a bonus key. General Dwight Eisenhower once said, In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. Designing, implementing and monitoring the results of your development plan direct mail, digital, telemarketing, major gifts and a number of fundraising disciplines is essential to your overall success. So here s that bonus key: As you evaluate results and consider current environmental realities, be flexible to make any necessary strategic course corrections to your plan.

31 12 KEYS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DIRECT MARKETING PROGRAM for CATHOLIC CHARITIES 31

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