Hitting an emotional reaction in direct mail fundraising is a big key to your overall success. And honestly, a direct mail campaign can be a capitol investment, so the success of your campaign is crucial. But before we go there, let’s go over an important reminder: the 40-40-20 rule in direct mail…

• The first 40% success rate depends on reaching the right audience

• The second 40% success rate depends on a compelling message or offer (this is where the emotional reaction comes in)

•The final 20% rides on everything else (design, paper, day of the week you mail and so on)

So let’s look at the second 40%. I’ll start by saying I don’t like to engage with any programs that don’t have some sort of positive impact, and we know the same goes for our clients’ target audiences.

So what is your positive impact? Is it making people’s lives better, is it offering some sort of true value, is it helping a kid get to college?

We recently helped a Boy Scouts of America council write a letter about an at-risk kid from South Texas, who was in trouble and dodging bullets in his neighborhood. Boy Scouts put him on the path to become a distinguished Eagle Scout, then eventually Commander of the International Space Station. The Boy Scouts could have written about any of the positive impacts they have for various kids across the world. But they chose a story with an especially emotional element: the immense impact the Boy Scouts can have on a single kid.

This is only one example. I see so many people and organizations take that second 40% lightly, not grasping that it’s this exact missed opportunity that lands their campaign in the trash.

Want to learn more, check out our Direct Mail 101 e-book here.

Or just call us and we’ll be glad to help!