8 reasons your last direct mail appeal didn't work (Part 6)

By Wayne Gurley
President & Creative Director

6. You asked for an inappropriate amount of money.

If there is such a thing as a 100% “truism” in direct marketing, it’s this…

The more money you ask for, the lower your rate of response will be. I’ve tested this many times, and it always ends up the same: If you ask for more than the prospect or donor thinks is appropriate, instead of sending something less than what you’ve asked, they simply do nothing.

(For another excellent take on this subject, read Jeff Brook’s blog by clicking here: “Because we need it is not a fundraising strategy”.)

In many cases, a person will give you a gift that’s a lot smaller than what they’re capable of giving. They do this because they’re not that committed to your organization – at least not yet – and they want to see how they feel about you after they make a gift.  Or as Jeff suggests, your donors may not think you’ve given them enough of a reason to send a larger amount.

First time donors often use their first gift as an “audition.” They will send a smaller amount just to see how you’re going to treat them. If you pass this test, they may send you a second gift. But if you fail, you may lose them as a donor forever.

Thanking your donor via a letter and phone call (if at all possible) is an EXTREMELY important first step in the cultivation of a new donor.  It’s also one of the best ways to avoid high attrition rates.

Copyright 2018 Allegiant Direct, Inc.

Wayne GurleyComment