Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.

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Simple Lessons in Targeting Reap Rich Rewards

A recent Spring Appeal for Asthma for the Nova Scotia Lung Association was the most successful campaign in its history. And it all started by taking a closer look at the results from the previous four years of spring campaigns and comparing those to the most successful Christmas campaigns.

Leslie Goudy, Director of Development at the association, headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, knows the first step of any mailing campaign is to target the mailing to the right audience. So all of her mail is being sent to only those people most likely to donate. With special emphasis on the previous year's donors to the spring campaign.

The second most likely donors were those who had given to the Christmas Seal Campaign over the previous two years, but had not given to the spring campaign.

Selecting the right audience, and trying to do something about getting the response rate up, was very important. After all, the Lung Association is known for its Christmas Seals. Spring isn't the big time for them. That is for other people like the Heart Association, the Easter Seal people, and others.

One of the things I teach in my direct mail marketing seminars is that we should not measure the success of direct mail by percentages. This is something we seem to like to do. I don't like to do it and I teach that it is not the best, nor the fairest, way to measure success. The way to measure success is very simply with money!

Gaudy agrees. "The way we get the most money is to make the best appeal to the best people. Give them an opportunity to donate, and donate to a worthy cause. And do so in a way that encourages the audience to participate in the end result."

In this case, the desired result was the reason for asking for the gift. Asthma is a horrible illness. Even if you, a friend, or a family member have never suffered from it, you can certainly relate to the uncomfortable feeling that people must have when they have difficulty breathing. And, it can be fatal.

This gave a prospect of reason for giving.

Goudy did several things this year to make her program more successful. First, she cut down on the total number of pieces to be mailed. By eliminating those who are less likely to respond and concentrating on those more likely to respond, she mailed approximately 25,000 fewer pieces. This had an immediate positive impact on printing and mailing costs.

She was talking to people more likely to donate and 13,313 did just that. This was an increase of over 100% from the previous year. The key: She made a sound offer, with a simple explanation, to the people most I likely to respond to the appeal.

One of the interesting numbers from all of this targeting was that the average gift dropped slightly — by about $2.50 CDN. But because the total number of donors was so much larger the amount of additional net income was increased by $71,000 CDN. As Goudy says: "Who am I to argue with those results?"

Spring Appeal 5th yr 4th yr 3rd yr 2nd yr 1st yr
Letters mailed 34,268 59,170 62,186 51,723 58,000
Responses (#) 13,313 6,540 8.455 7,487 8,200
Responses (%) 38.8 11.0 13.5 14.4 14.0
Gross income ($) 152,609 91,466 114,537 95,809 72,963
Average gift ($) 11.42 13.98 13.54 12.79 11.86
Net income ($) 124,950 53,598 77,847 69,948 72,963

The chart shows you the growth that Goudy and the Lung Association of Nova Scotia have enjoyed over the last five years with their Spring Appeal Campaigns.

There has to be a lesson from these numbers. The primary lesson is be sure you make the right offer to the right audience. Because, when you do, you will enjoy the results.

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