The Best Ways to Personalize Your Fiscal-Year-End Mail and Email Campaigns

Membership, email, direct mail, fiscal year end

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As you finalize your station's fiscal-year-end mail and email campaigns, consider these best practices for effective appeals.

1. Keep the font in a readable size for older eyes. Keep the paragraphs indented and the margins wide.

2. Make sure your campaigns reflect your station! Highlight local content to connect more deeply with your listeners. 

3. Make your reply form clean, simple, and easy to fill out.

4. Include an acceptance statement that is positive and enthusiastic. “Yes! I want to help fund my favorite programs on WXYZ!” or “Here is my contribution to support more great radio on WXYZ!” for example.

5. Differentiate your gift ladders to match your donor’s giving. For additional gift and renewals, we recommend:

☐ last donation amount    ☐1.5 x last donation amount     ☐2 x last donation amount     ☐ other    

For lapsed, we recommend a static ladder that begins low (between $25 and $50, depending on your basic membership levels). If you’ve conducted gift ladder testing at your station, use that information to determine your ladders.

6. Consider adding a listing of popular programs to the “real estate” on the back of the letter to provide an opportunity to connect at all angles. Precede it with a statement such as: “WXYZ is your station. Your support is essential to the programs you appreciate and rely on.”

7. Don’t forget to add a source code to the reply form for proper accounting and analysis of campaign results. Even if you use very similar letters for additional gift donors, renewing donors and lapsed donors, each type of donor should receive a different source code because response expectations are different for each category. Combined codes do not allow for proper analysis.

8. Mail each effort about two weeks apart.

9. Consider strategic additions of envelope teasers to accompany the campaign. For example, a first additional gift envelope could be something like “Your favorites…” or “Your chance to make a difference.” For renewals, it could be a more practical “It’s time to renew” teaser. For lapsed, we recommend a plain first effort and a “Second chance” teaser on the second effort.

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