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Test Your Direct Marketing I.Q.

January 17th, 2005 by Bob Bly

You are the marketing director for a nonprofit. Today in the mail you receive a $50 donation from a first-time donor. When should you send him a letter asking for more money ? and why?

A. Tomorrow.

B. Next week.

C. Next month.

D. Next year.

E. Never.

I’ll post the correct answer in a few days….


This entry was posted on Monday, January 17th, 2005 at 10:45 am and is filed under Direct Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

99 responses about “Test Your Direct Marketing I.Q.”

  1. Brett Cooper said:

    I don’t know what the conventional wisdom is, but I would send a thank-you tomorrow. With the thank-you I’d include a generic appeal that we are always in need of donations. Then, one month later I would send a specific request to “someone who has helped us in the past.”

  2. Jay Lipe said:

    I would mail that person a letter tomorrow that included a thank you along with a gentle appeal. The primary emphasis would be on the thank you portion though. Gentle appeal might be handled in the PS…

  3. Jim Logan said:

    An approach I’ve used in the past is close to the first comment to this post: immediately thank the person for their support/donation, emphasize the importance of their contribution and our ongoing need, and approach them in a couple of weeks in a specific call for additional support from “friends of the cause.”

    I’ve had varying success using this formula.

    FYI…You’ve successfully piqued my interest in the “correct” answer:) I’m ready to learn!

  4. unfunny said:

    Never ask for more money. Send a thank you. Whenever I’ve ever tried to donate a reasonably “small” amount to any group, I’ve been shamed by their asking for more. Who doesn’t think “…but I just sent you money. Haven’t you noticed?” It seems that people would react negatively to nudging. Don’t people donate money because deep down they want to assert to themselves that they decided on their own account, and due to their good nateure, to donate. Shouldn’t donation always feel like the donator’s idea?

  5. avi said:

    All of the above.
    I’d send a thank you letter and tell the donor to what good purpose I am going to use his money.
    I will notify him with a list of donors of the week/month/year, praising his generosity, etc.

  6. Case said:

    It depends…but I would answer right now: next week.

    After the Tsunami-disaster, I donated to a nonprofit organization. I picked the organization that was trustworthy and didn´t have that much media coverage. The organization will direct the money to help children. After a week (or two?), the same organization sent a letter asking for an extra urgent donation. The letter was very specific about what each amount would get. It worked. I donated even a larger amount than before. Why? After the first donation, I felt that I had responded to a good cause like millions of others, but I also felt that the amount wasn´t that big.

    I´m happy that the organization didn´t waste money on thank-you letters. When I received the second letter, I didn´t open it at first since I thought it was a letter thanking me… I really didn´t need that. Direct approach asking for more support worked in my case. I wish all the best in their work.

  7. Peter Nussey said:

    This is not my area but as a donor I would view an immediate thank-you letter as wasteful and a further request with a month as inapproprite. Although, as a marketer, I can see why such correspondence is compelling if not conventional wisdom. For me, I would write immediately trying to obtain permission to email the donor with some sort of supporters e-newsletter, probably monthly, detailing our work, stressing ongoing needs and showing how the money is spent and what it has achieved i.e. some sucess stories. I’d host same on my site and maybe try to get a sponsor to print it. Well maybe I got a bit carried away there – I’m looking forward to hearing the answer

  8. said:

    Send another solicitation right away and move those that respond to a “special” list. 😉

  9. vikk said:

    Don’t know what the correct answer is but we write the thank you immediately.

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