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Getting Started with Text Messaging: Part II

October 18

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Everyone seems to be talking about text messaging these days! With 95% of Americans owning a mobile phone, more of us are “meeting people where they are” by using mobile (SMS) as a vital component of an organization or campaign’s communications, fundraising, advocacy and field strategies. More and more nonprofit organizations and campaigns are realizing they need to include mobile (SMS) text messaging in their digital and campaign strategies.  There are two types of mass texting that can be utilized by your organization. Here are some important differences to consider when deciding between peer-to-peer vs. broadcast text messaging platforms. Capacity (i.e. How and Who) As explained under the platform section, one of ...Read more


Getting Started with Text Messaging

October 11

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Everyone seems to be talking about text messaging these days! With 95% of Americans owning a mobile phone, more of us are “meeting people where they are” by using mobile (SMS) as a vital component of an organization or campaign’s communications, fundraising, advocacy and field strategies. More and more nonprofit organizations and campaigns are realizing they need to include mobile (SMS) text messaging in their digital and campaign strategies.  There are two types of mass texting that can be utilized by your organization. Broadcast SMS has been around for 10+ years but didn’t begin to be utilized by major organizations and campaigns until after 2012. Whereas Peer-to-Peer SMS made its first appearance during the 2016 ...Read more


Breaking Integration Myths

July 31

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When it comes to food, people have long worked at breaking integration myths. Take the myth that oils and waters can’t mix. It’s a myth that can be easily broken when you add an emulsifier (egg yolk), force (whisking), and technique (slowly pouring melted butter into lemon juice and water) to create a hollandaise sauce that never separates. Or take a simpler example. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Who can forget the classic ad campaign “Two great tastes that taste great together” that changed the entire world’s perception that chocolate and peanut butter can’t be paired together. At this June’s DMAW Lunch and Learn, 40 marketing professionals gathered to eat and learn about the integration myths affecting ...Read more


Mail Plans – Are They Really Just for Direct Mail and Do I Really Need One?

July 19

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No and Yes, according to Jessica Harrington of the Harrington Agency during her recent DMAW webinar. She is also a planner at heart as the detailed webinar revealed. When you take a trip, a GPS-enabled device is a must, but you might also print or download a map. In other words, you bring tools to help find the way. That’s the job of a “mail plan” - to provide the map for your organization’s complete donor/constituent journey. It can be used and supplemented by all teams and usually is developed with assistance from partner-vendors. Today’s multiple channels, data sources, segments and modeling tools along with creative testing ideas and budget goals, means the “donor journey” is nuanced and requires a ...Read more


How to Prioritize and Maximize Your Testing

June 19

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Direct marketers love testing. It’s how we establish causality and know with certainty that results can be repeated across campaigns. It’s how we mitigate risk across our programs before rolling out with new ideas. It’s how we gain insights about donor and customer behavior that allow us to build effective communication strategies that yield results. The list goes on and on. And while most of us are likely in agreement that testing is “the bee’s knees,” it’s easy to fall into a trap where we are testing just to test, and we aren’t always planning our testing in a thoughtful way that will consistently allow us to maximize results across our programs. Testing is far too valuable to be an afterthought. Planning ...Read more


Digital Day 2019: Expecting the Unexpected

June 12

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Going into DMAW’s Digital Day for the second year in a row, I knew I’d be leaving with a wealth of new knowledge in the digital space, but little did I know that the lessons learned would be both inside and outside of the sessions. Digital Day taught me more than just the latest digital trends, email deliverability, and data segmentation, it also taught me the most important rule of all: to always expect the unexpected. The day began with a delicious breakfast and eager ears ready for a day full of learning. At 9:00 a.m. sharp the impressive panel prepared to kick off How to Cut Through the Noise in 2020 at the front of the room when—despite the routine check ups and multiple tests only moments before—none of the ...Read more


The Carrier’s Curse: Questioning, Testing, and Why Everything Plain Is Exciting Again

Raise your hand if you’ve been here: you’re mailing a package with a heartwarming case for support, copy that hits all your marks in two pages or less, all in a gorgeous, full bleed, four-color carrier. The package is great, the message is strong, and your lists are ready to go. You’re so proud of this piece, you even stick the carrier up on your office wall like your kid’s A+ science test on the fridge. In short, you think it is going to be your best campaign ever—until you get results. Cue removal of package from wall, into recycling bin (or, if this is really not your week, the fireplace). If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. At this year’s DM201 in Philly (and if I didn’t see you there this year, you’d ...Read more


DM 201: Stop Getting Comfortable and Start Innovating

April 24

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DM 201 is an intermediate-level course that’s perfect for anyone who already has some direct marketing experience under their belt—whether at an agency, nonprofit, list broker, production company, or analytics firm—and wants to go beyond the basics. Somewhere between being a total newbie and seasoned vet things start to fall into place. We get comfortable with what we’re doing, the day-to-day tasks become second nature, and our instincts sharpen. It’s also when complacency can sneak in. Armed with experience and best practices, it’s tempting to run on autopilot rather than continually challenging our assumptions. This session challenged that tendency and pushed us to break out of our routines and find new ways to be ...Read more


Middle donors and the White House

April 5

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Are your middle donors suffering from middle child syndrome? Do they feel excluded, ignored, overshadowed by the over-indulged major donors and the high volume, attention-stealing low dollar donors?  Organizations are starting to shine the spotlight on middle donors, and rightly so.  The reality is middle donors account for less than 2% of all donors in our programs and yet generate upwards of 30% or more of annual revenue—all without receiving much attention or fanfare.  Middle donor programs are taking hold in nonprofit organizations. In the past three years, organizations with dedicated middle donor programs have seen the number of middle donors increase along with their revenue.  As we take holistic view ...Read more


Not just for newbies! – What I learned at DM 101

March 22

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Normally I wouldn’t have signed up for this particular seminar. After all, I’ve been in the industry for more than “just a few” years . . . although I’ll never admit to exactly HOW many years. Let’s just say I started back in the old days – before email, before online marketing, before much of the sophisticated direct mail campaigns that are being done today. It was down and dirty work, in the back room of an upstairs office of a local mail shop, complete with dark wood paneling and orange tile floors. Yes, the good old days for sure. But on this particular day, I was attending to bring two of my own “newbies” down to the seminar. Since they didn’t know anyone in the industry and big city driving wasn’t really ...Read more