Direct mail strategy and production
Achieved unprecedented direct mail lapsed reactivation numbers
Lollypop Farm is an animal shelter based in Fairport, NY whose goal is to better the lives of animals through justice, prevention and live-saving care. Despite being a local presence, they set a goal to become a premier shelter in the country. A thriving direct-response fundraising and communications program factors heavily into achieving that and other goals. Reactivating lapsed donors through direct mail has become a part of their program, however they were hoping to find a strategic partner that could recommend methods by which to boost the results.
Ballantine's strategy team immediately identified some ways they could elevate the level of lapsed donor engagement.
One possible reason for a direct mail donor to lapse in their giving is that the materials they receive no longer grab their attention. With that in mind, we determined that Lollypop Farm's lapsed reactivation package needed an update. We developed a highly unique package that featured personalization with actual “handwriting" with a ballpoint pen on the outer envelope and on the inside of the card (possible with the technical solutions available to Ballantine). Furthermore, more strategic timing of the mailings was implemented, as well as personalized ask arrays.
Intuition would lead one to believe that this format has a higher open rate (in light of the handwritten address) and this was evident in the responses. Given that and the extremely personal nature of the appeal, the response rate for the mailing was significantly higher than any previous effort.
The approach, as well as the use of a custom ask-array based on the last gift, also yielded a much higher average response. Finally, improved timing and consolidation of multiple mail drops yielded cost efficiencies for Lollypop Farm as well.
- The response rate went from 4.75% to 9.37%.
- The number of donors increased by 142.59%.
- The total donation amount more than doubled.
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