More Lessons from Lisa’s Direct Mail Experiment

Lisa Maher

Last year I asked my readers to help with an experiment highlighting the communications received after donating to nonprofits. Earlier this summer, Lisa Maher shared her initial results of her direct mail experiences with some nonprofit she supported. This post reveals her latest results.

Guest Post by Lisa Maher

We are a bit past the halfway mark in this year-long experiment on the types of direct mail solicitations received and I’m back again to share more of my findings with you. I hope you all enjoyed my last post about the importance of a personal, visual, heartfelt message. This time around, I want to update you on the direct mail from the organizations in my previous post and some new ones that have come to my mailbox. These examples highlight the importance of creativity and the ability, or lack thereof, to captivate your audience.

Per Kivi’s recommendation I donated to some with a slight variation to my name and can tell that my name had been rented out to them. My least favorite came just this past week. I honestly almost threw it out before I remembered about this experiment. It is so boring! And, the letter inside wasn’t any more exciting. This was sent from a very well known children’s relief organization and I was surprised that they didn’t have a compelling story to tell in their letter.

Direct Mail Envelope from Thirteen

One interesting piece I received last week was from Thirteen. What I liked most about it was the option to share your opinion in an online survey. I did answer the survey for this experiment and the questions were centered about the types of programming that I found most interesting or that I would be interested in watching.


Since my last post, I’ve also received two other solicitations from Best Friends Animal Society and one other from The Marine Mammal Center.

That’s in addition to the frequent e-mails from both organizations. I continue to be impressed with both organizations direct mail packages and it goes to show that a constant communication stream is a positive thing. I do enjoy being informed and updated on both organizations’ initiatives, programs, and successes.

Follow-up Direct Mail Piece from Best Friends Animal Society


Best Friends direct mail piece updated me on new programs, in this case their puppy pre-school and included a certificate of recognition with a link on the back of the certificate to watch a training session. I found this to be a creative way to get me to learn more about this program.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this experiment as much as I have. I am eager to hear what you think about this post! I’ll keep Kivi and the rest of you posted on any new findings and can’t wait to share even more with all of you again soon.



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Author: Kristina Leroux, Community Engagement Manager

I am the Community Engagement Manager at Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com.

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