direct mail Monet stamp

3 Tips to Becoming a Direct Mail "Monet"

By Neil Lubin

The Tension team is once again getting ready for The Bridge Conference, one of our favorite events. This year's theme, "The Art and Science of Fundraising and Marketing," is sure to please the direct mail enthusiasts in all of us. 

It’s true: successful direct mail is part science and part design; a theme Bridge organizers refer to as “Einsteins” and “Monets”.

We cover the science of direct mail in our "Maximize Your Donor Communications" guide. Now, let’s focus on the art of design: These three tips offer ways to be a direct mail "Monet" and make an impression(ism) with your customers.

Envelopes of Unusual Shapes and Sizes

Stand out. Adding a unique window on your envelope, such as one in the shape of your logo, gives you points for creativity while building brand recognition. Or, take a bigger approach with a large-format envelope, such as a 6” x 9” to make your mailing truly distinct.

See You on the Flip Side

You’ve heard of a hidden message? Entice donors to learn what your organization is about by placing copy or an image on the backside of your #10 donation envelope. This unexpected approach invites your donors to tactically interact with your direct mailpiece and organization.

Another way to involve your mail audience is to send a Hot Note® envelope with a sticky note on the front. This calls attention to your message while leaving a reminder of your brand in their home or office.

Animate Your Direct Mail with Digital

Research tells there's power in an integrated campaign that bridges physical envelopes with digital counterparts. Why? Mail is effective while digital is instant. Make your direct mail come alive with multi-sensory features such as AR or VR codes that animate your message and give donors instantaneous interaction with your fundraising appeal.

To really be an artist at direct mail, take time to brush up on your talents! For the very latest—and best—in fundraising marketing, The Bridge Conference at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland, from July 31 to August 2, is the place to be. Stop by the Tension booth #501 and let’s talk about how to design your direct mailpiece into a masterpiece.


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