“Lucky” 13 ways to make reply devices work

It’s no secret that attention spans are short. You only have a few seconds to make that connection to the donor, entice her to open your direct mail piece and send back a gift. With such a narrow margin for error, everything in the package must work double-duty to funnel the donor toward a gift, even the reply device.

Robin Riggs of RobbinsKersten Direct and Kevin Pickett of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center shared a number of techniques to make your reply devices stand out at the Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation 2015 Washington Nonprofit Conference.

  •  Localization: Anything that makes people realize they’re helping their neighbors and community is powerful.
  •  Campaign: Let people know exactly what their dollars are going toward.
  • Mission-based statement: Reinforces why someone would give to you.
  •  Declaration: Help find a cure, help fund our research, help these animals.
  •  Affirmation: Yes, I want to give. Often used in conjunction with a check box.
  • Design tactics: Post-it notes and anything that looks hand-written feels more personal.
  • Urgency: A matching gift that will expire or a deadline in the near future can convince a donor not to put off giving.
  • Special offer: Join now and get two months free, give and get a calendar.
  • Seasonal: Another way to convey urgency.
  • Name: People’s eyes are drawn to their names.
  • Confirmation: Yes, I received my free gift and I want to send a donation.
  • Loyalty: You’ve been a member for 10 years. It shows the donor you care about her commitment.
  • Affinity: How are you affected by this disease we’re trying to cure? Friend, family member, yourself? People who answer this question have a greater lifetime value.