How the most successful direct mail campaigns result from collaborative partnerships

How many times have you created a direct mail letter, finalized the mail list and delivered your files to a printing company who, in turn, just prints, stuffs and mails? Sounds familiar, right? Because letter campaigns are still an effective fundraising tool and often essential to your overall campaign, it’s important to maximize the content using creative storytelling, impactful graphics and enhanced data offered by one of your most important partners: your print vendor.


Many printing companies do much more than just put ink on paper. They offer a variety of services that can take your direct mail from simple or ineffective to eye-catching and compelling. With the help of their in-house writing and design expertise, you can create personalized messaging and graphics that elevate your content and inspire your audience to act.


“What’s the story you want to tell? And what’s the impact or relevance?” asks Judd Plattenburg, president and CEO of Oregon Printing. “Answers to these fundamental questions can help you create direct mail that’s clear, meaningful and connects with readers.”




Crayons to Classrooms, a Dayton organization that offers a store for teachers of low-income families to shop for free supplies, chose Oregon Printing to help with their 2022 campaigns. “We had several meetings before deciding to go with Oregon,” says Amy Kopp, fund development manager for Crayons to Classrooms. “Judd was engaged. … We shared ideas, brainstormed ways to save money while still packing a punch.”

Crayons to Classrooms used their new direct mail as an acquisition campaign to attract new donors, thanks to working with Oregon Printing. Using software to analyze Amy’s mail list, Oregon Printing doubled the size of her potential donors and learned more demographics about them. The year-long campaign was very targeted, specific and produced results, says Amy. “We mailed in March, July and November, and gained 79 new donors, with many donating several times throughout the year.”


According to Amy, there was no comparison to the previous year’s campaign. “The new one was more impactful, bold, clear. Partnering with them offered the ability to have more graphics, photos and design.” She says the campaign was successful and she is planning to do something similar for 2023. “We’ll probably refresh the creative we did in 2022 and work with Judd to find more donors this year,” explains Amy.




Crayons to Classrooms’ experience highlights the importance of choosing the right printing company to help execute your campaign. It can mean the difference between success and failure. Don’t choose your partner based on price; instead research their customer service history and inspect the quality of their work. Ask colleagues for recommendations and, most importantly, seek out mutually beneficial partnerships where there’s an open exchange of ideas and a sense of collaboration.


We’re here to help! We have more resources on fundraising, including on subjects like how to expand your donor base. Or we can just quote your next campaign as you have designed it. Bottom line, you spend a lot of money on your direct mail fund­raising, make sure it works for you. Call us to see if we can help, 937-222-9418.