How to Design
You will probably both want and need to design your own planned giving marketing pieces at some point and we can help. But remember, your job is that of fundraiser, not graphic designer. If you are creating them yourself, here's some ideas we'd like to mention, and if you do have graphic designers on board, please bring these to their attention as well.
First… You Are Not in the Business to Win a Design Award
Neither you nor your designers should be focused on creating a beautiful piece.
Don’t be too concerned with the look and feel of the postcards or paper. If you purchased some of our design templates, there’s no need to re-invent the wheel; it will just delay your project.
Considering to re-invent the wheel? Here’s a scenario you should read: the worst McDonald’s franchise owners are MBAs. They think they know business better than anyone else. They try to redesign the manual and the whole business process, even though it has been successful for many years. What happens? They flop. By the way, the most successful Mc Donald’s franchise owners are the simple folks who’ve been doing this for the past 60-plus years and know what works and what doesn’t. We also know what works and what doesn’t, so you can trust our tried-and-true templates and designs.
So… What's Important?
When you're designing your postcards, the look and feel accounts for only about 10% of the power and effectiveness of your mail campaign. The most important thing in mailing is the quality of your list. You want to make sure your addresses are accurate, the information is up-to-date and you are contacting your most loyal donors. Defining "loyal" is very subjective; it's like defining wealth. What's wealthy to you? $100,000 or above, $1,000,000 or above? $10,000,000 or above? It's all relative.
So What is Loyal?
Here, you could define "loyal" as one who has been contributing ten years over the last twelve, or eight over the last fifteen. You decide those you consider loyal and then generate your list. The quality and effectiveness of that list constitutes about 50%-60% of your campaign.
What you say and how you say it makes up about the remaining 25% to 30% in terms of importance and effectiveness in the success of your mailing campaign.
As to printing and design? Well, do the math.
So these are the three main things to consider when putting together your mailings.
Remember, you are out to get results, not graphic design awards.