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Case Study

Religious Institution

Pursuant recently partnered with the development team at a leading Christian Denomination to help grow revenue through its direct mail program.

The organization was looking for more effective ways to measure and gain insights into donor motivations.

CASE STUDY

Religious Institution

Pursuant recently partnered with the development team at a leading Christian Denomination to help grow revenue through its direct mail program.

The organization was looking for more effective ways to measure and gain insights into donor motivations.

By the Numbers

25%

Year-over-year revenue increase from direct mail.

5%

Increased donor response resulting from included missionary note.

3.5%

Increased mail opens from adding carrier teasers.

By the
Numbers

25%

Year-over-year revenue increase from direct mail.

5%

Increased donor response resulting from included missionary note.

3.5%

Increased mail opens from adding carrier teasers.

The Challenge

To fuel its impact on individuals and communities worldwide, the organization was looking for a new way to accelerate generosity through it’s direct mail program.

From a data perspective, the organization was looking for more effective ways to measure and gain insights into donor motivations. It also wanted to create a more compelling story for direct response audiences. In short, the organization had a chance to maximize both the art and science aspects of their program.

Pursuant helped us shake the trees to reveal our strongest general fund supporters.


The Solution

Elevating the direct mail program meant an overhaul. For the first year of implementation, a series of theme-based mailings reflected:

Compelling Creative – For all appeal letters, stronger imagery and more emotive storytelling were used to entice donors, while consistent colors and tone reinforced the organization’s brand. For two mailings, a new eight-page newsletter was sent, instead of a letter. Converted from a former organization magazine, the newsletter was intended primarily as stewardship, to build donor loyalty by sharing stories about the impact of their generosity. Pursuant worked closely with the organization on content development, and both issues of the newsletter included an ask, while a cover letter, reply slip and reply envelope rounded out the package.

Strategic Testing – In the past, each of the organization’s direct mail packages were mostly the same. Implementing a test and control strategy for every appeal, Pursuant conducted iterative testing of design elements, letter content, and variables such as gift arrays and reply copy. Every element was intention- ally designed to determine, “would it resonate with donors?” Analyzing the results made it possible to build on learnings in future campaigns.

Personalization and Segmentation – Customization is key to building donor loyalty; every donor wants to feel special. Pursuant was able to merge data with creative, deploying direct response best practices like adding the donor’s first name to a salutation and customizing gift arrays to reference a past gift. Insights gained through testing also made detailed segmen- tation possible, targeting donors with an affinity for certain aspects of the organization’s work or capitalizing on how they responded to one package versus another.

The Results

As part of the program reset, the organization’s donor database underwent a conversion, so results will become clearer in the second year. Direct mail revenue did increase 25% year over year, and many insights were gained. For example…

The two newsletter mailings outperformed the appeal letters.

Customized gift arrays with a circled ask increased response by 4%.

Including an engagement device (note to missionaries from donor) increased response by 5%.

Adding carrier teasers to entice donors to open mailings increased response by 3.5%.

Join hundreds of organizations that use Pursuant to engage supporters in the modern way.

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