Stampworthy Reply Devices (Taylor's Version)

Dec 01, 2021

This is the final blog in my three-part series on Stampworthy Direct Mail. We've covered envelopes and letters so far. Now it's time for Stampworthy Reply Devices--Taylor's Version, of course! :)

As you'll recall in Stampworthy Envelopes (Taylor's Version) you learned about getting the attention of your donors so they'll open your mail. In Stampworthy Letters (Taylor's Version) you discovered what happens after they rip open your envelope to read your story, that's what attracts them to your mission.

You've asked the right donors at the right time. They've opened your letter and read your ah-mazing story. So, now you've made it to the #1 reason that donors give to charity--someone asked them! Hurray! But, don't count your chickens before they hatch.  Your work is not done yet. You're so close; let's not blow it now.  Cool? Cool.

 My team and I talk about the two main things we have to do every single day with our donors: (1) Delight our customers and (2) Be easy to do business with.  If you've made it to the point that you know which donors have an affinity for your mission and the capacity to give, then they are likely delighted when they receive correspondence from you. But you still need to be easy to do business with--that means it must be SO SIMPLE for the donor to take action and make a donation! Of course, with direct mail, the #1 way to communicate with donors, they do this with your Reply Device. Don't make them read the teeny, tiny print--make it easy like Sunday morning.

As a refresher, remember that NSC speaker Jeff Brooks said that every fundraiser must address these three things in your direct mail communications with donors: AttentionAttraction, Action

1. Attention: The envelope.
2. Attraction: The letter inside the envelope.
3. Action: The reply device / internal donation envelope.

Brooks also said that donors engage is that exact order --> If the envelope gets their Attention, then they'll read the letter that Attracts them to your mission, which will in turn call them to Action by donating. 

So, your job is to do all you can do in your Stampworthy Direct Mail to take your donors from Attention to Attraction to Action.   Let's do it!

Left Brain Marketing Methods regarding Reply Devices:

  1. Every Stampworthy Letter you send MUST have a Reply Device included inside the envelope that leads them to take action and donate. This Reply Device prevents them from having to look for another envelope and address it on their own--no need to give them another step. Let their only step be writing a check with a generous donation to your marvelous mission. Who knows, it might even have an attractively placed comma!
  2. Your Reply Device should fit into your mailing without being folded. Seriously, people have studied this, so take heed.
  3. For donors that you know typically donate over $100, it's suggested that you place stamps on the Reply Device, so they don't even have to worry about postage.  But wait, there's more--Brooks suggests putting actual stamps on the envelope and the more the better! That's right, at 55 cents per envelope, simply buy several stamps that equal 55 cents--not just one stamp! We're not sure why this seems to work best, but A/B research has proven that the return rates are higher when multiple stamps are used. I know, I know--you can't make this stuff up! But they think it might just work because it's weird. P.S. While they say business reply by mail postage also works, stamps have proved to work better.
  4. The way you place postage on your Stampworthy Letter doesn't really matter.  But, using a myriad of stamps on the Reply Device is certainly worth a try to get them to drop everything they're doing and donate. 

Right Brain Marketing Moxie regarding Reply Devices:

  1. Although many of you have your Reply Devices pre-printed in bulk, it doesn't mean you can't customize them. They can still be loaded into your copier with custom messaged printed on them. You could print RUSH--yes, maybe even in red--on the front of the envelope or mail merge their name on the back to say, "Joseph and Mary, won't you please donate today?"
  2. Brooks was even a proponent of a colored envelope just to stand out. I certainly think it's worth a shot. So, next time you place your order see what your color options might be to draw a bit of extra attention. Remember when goldenrod was all the rage?
  3. Finally, we use a VERY BASIC tracking mechanism on all of our Reply Devices to track what mailing produced the donations we received. Yes, sometimes the donations come directly after you've send the Stampworthy Ask, but other times it comes much later. Since we like to know for sure what mailing produced results, we go 100% old school by tagging the envelopes with markers. Yes, super non-techy markers. Essentially, each time a Reply Device is prepped to go out, we grab the full stack we're about to send and run a marker down the side of the entire edge of all of the envelopes. Then we make a legend to remind us of what markings were used for which mailers. For example, one mailer might have two orange lines, one might have a red and blue line, and another might have two green and yellow lines. Then, when we receive our donations, we make note of which mailing led to that action. It's elementary research to be sure, but it works, and it doesn't cost a thing! Three cheers for cheap and easy! 

Ok, that's it, my friend!  You now have some easy left brain marketing methods and right brain marketing moxie to create some Stampworthy Direct Mail that will lead to bigger and better results. And if you're anything like me, you don't have a lot of time to spare, so take these tips and tricks to help you work smarter, not harder

After all, it's the holiday season--for you, too.  You can do less and raise more because once you know better--and now you do--you can do better.

All My Best,


P.S. With all the year-end giving appeals that you're writing and sending, who has time to create a calendar for social media that gives your donors generosity-packed giving ideas?  Probably no one! But even if you were going to try to fit it into your oh-so busy schedule, #WorkSmarterNotHarder and grab this one that I created for you!

You can find the free download here as my gift to you!

P.S. Fundraising is hard, even though you make it look
oh-so easy! ♥

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