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Does your donor newsletter cost more to send than it brings in?

That’s a pretty common trait among donor newsletters, but it’s not the idea of the donor newsletter that’s wrong – it’s how you’re approaching it that’s wrong.

  • Is your donor newsletter longer than 4 pages?
  • Are you sending it as a self-mailer?
  • Did you think a reply device wasn’t necessary?
  • Are you taking the credit for the good work you’ve done?

If you answered “yes” to these questions then that’s just part of your problem.

“Logic? In direct mail? I wish.”

So how do you know what to do? Fundraising and direct mail expert Tom Ahern says to follow The Domain Formula.

Key features of the formula include:

  • Page count: no more than 4 pages (in tests, adding more pages did not produce more revenue)
  • Article length: short
  • Write for skimmers (i.e., requires professional quality headlines)
  • Send in a #10 envelope, not as a self-mailer
  • Include a separate reply device
  • Don’t get distracted: be fully donor-committed. Send only to your donors. You have to talk to a single target audience
  • Make the voice personal (the word “you” dominates) rather than institutional; get intimate
  • Focus on “accomplishment reporting” (tell donors how much they have changed the world through their gifts)

Tom was asked specifically about self-mailers during our popular training series Donor Newsletters That Raise More Money, and this was his reply:

Logic? In direct mail? I wish. I’m not sure even Domain knew the “real” reason why self-mailers did poorly in tests. They suspected that a self-mailer had, and I quote, “low perceived value.” What they knew for sure from testing was this: when their charity clients sent self-mailers, income (i.e., checks sent back in response) plummeted. When they sent the very same newsletter in a #10 envelope, income was strong.

If you want your donor newsletter to cover its cost – and so much more – join Tom and Nonprofit Marketing Guide starting May 7th for Donor Newsletters That Raise More Money.

Tom knows how to take a floundering charity newsletter and make it successful with his proven methods – methods that have generated results in the real world.

Want proof that the formula works? As Tom shares during Donor Newsletters That Raise More Money, after working with Tom on one edition of their newsletter, Gillete Children’s Specialty Healthcare went from raising $5,000 with their donor newsletter to $50,000. In just one edition, there was a tenfold increase in giving. And this wasn’t in conjunction with an annual appeal – it was just from the donor newsletter.

You can participate in Donor Newsletters That Raise More Money training 3 ways:

Option 1: Register for Part 1 and learn the formula that will transform your boring newsletter into one that thrills donors and brings in more money. Registration is $99 or free with an All-Access Pass.

Option 2: Register for Parts 1 and 2. Also learn how to write headlines and articles that donors can’t help but read. See the subtle differences between failing newsletters and those that work like a charm. Registration for both webinars is $199.

Option 3: Register for Full E-Clinic. You’ll learn everything you need to know about donor newsletters AND get one-on-one feedback on your donor newsletters from Tom Ahern. Registration is limited to just 12 nonprofits (4 spots are already filled) and is $449.

Learn more and decide which option is best for you.

You really can raise more money with your donor newsletter – let Tom show you how.  Register and learn more.

(Due to the personal attention each participant receives, we have had to cut the number of participants in this e-clinic from 20 to just 12. Reserve your spot now)

Published On: April 14, 2015|Categories: Fundraising|