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Educate for Success—Why I Attended DM101 and You Should Too

March 29

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Are you fresh on the direct mail scene—a newbie like me? If so, the DMAW’s DM 101: The Basics seminar is one you don’t want to miss. Direct mail is a beautiful mystery—as I continue to learn and create within this industry, I’ve quickly discovered that I mustn’t forget the basics. Having a direct mail education is fundamental to being successful within this industry. Whether you work for an agency, nonprofit, production company, or analytics firm, having a solid foundation and understanding of direct mail is essential. Thus, I was excited to find that this DM 101 seminar covered everything from A–Z: creative, lists, data hygiene/processing, production services, data capture/caging, database analytics, online ...Read more


Direct Marketing 101: All the Basics You Need to Know

February 26

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New to the industry or looking for a refresher on techniques and strategy, from the best in the field? Then you might want to reserve your spot now for the upcoming DM101 session on March 8th. Taught by industry leaders, this full-day seminar will provide foundational training and go over what makes a successful direct marketing campaign. The session will be comprised of eight sections, introduced by the top marketing professionals in the DC area: Creative Strategy and Design, with Avalon Consulting’s Senior Vice President, Kerri Kerr Marketing Lists and Acquisition, with Belardi/Wong’s Senior Vice President, Jeanette Cassano Data Hygiene and Processing, with MMI Direct’s Manager of Operations, Lori Barao ...Read more


5 Ideas Beyond Your Biggest P2P Events

February 1

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You are in for a treat. Mark Becker from Cathexis Partners was asked to do a webinar for all of us at the DMAW. And it came on a perfect day, because it was snowing in DC, and nobody wanted to go into work anyway, so many of us stayed home and took part in this fantastic webinar. But if you missed it because you were playing in the snow, or at work, fear not. Here you go. 1. If you build it, it doesn’t mean “they will come.” Use every tool at your disposal to promote your event be it direct mail, email, newsletters, Facebook, Google, local paper ads, twitter whatever you can. Multichannel your event marketing. Create a viral video testimony from someone being helped by the money raised. As Mark says, “You have to ...Read more


Current Cybersecurity Trends and Risk Mitigation for Direct Marketing Professionals

January 23

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Is your business or nonprofit prepared for a cyber attack? In the event of a data breach, would you know what to do? The risks of cyber attack are only increasing, so preparing for an intrusion is vital—to protect your donors, clients, staff, and your organization. We’ll tackle your questions head on and provide you with a cybersecurity game plan at our special presentation “Current Cybersecurity Threats and Risk Mitigation for Direct Marketing Professionals” this Thursday, January 25th, from 6pm to 9pm at SEIU in DC. Justin Freeh, Vice President of Operations and Chief Legal Counsel at SAIFE (a DC-based cybersecurity firm), will share the latest information about cyber threats, vulnerabilities and the best defenses ...Read more


Beyond the Event; Creative Approaches to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

January 10

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As you launch your fundraising campaigns this year, you may be missing out on some creative and effective new ways to use peer-to-peer tools and approaches beyond traditional events. Don’t get me wrong. Traditional run, walk, and ride events are highly effective. But, non-traditional peer-to-peer campaigns have an important place in fundraising, too. They’re typically less expensive to pull off than traditional run, walk, and ride events. And, they can be an effective way to supplement traditional peer-to-peer events year-round, especially during the months between events. In an upcoming DMAW webinar, I will discuss all the benefits of non-traditional peer-to-peer fundraising—as well as introduce fresh ideas and real-world ...Read more


Merry, Merry or Quite Contrary?

January 4

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Right before Christmas, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, into law. If you are a non-profit, you must be wondering how it will impact your fundraising—and what to do about it. Let’s break it down into five factors (for a more in-depth look, read the full article here. ​ 1. Uncertainty. The uncertainty that comes with major tax overhauls will lead many potential donors to reduce or eliminate their giving—many people won’t know how this law will affect them until they actually file their 2018 taxes in early 2019. That’s a long time to deal with doubt. ​ What you can do now: Create a community for your donors. Non-profits are perfectly positioned to give donors a place to belong and to bring together ...Read more


Ten Commandments of Copy & Design Part II

December 1

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You Still Can’t Risk NOT Reading This! (Continuing on with a quick wrap up of DMAW’s Ten Commandments Lunch & Learn featuring Tom Gaffny and Steve Fleshman.) Among the Commandments according to Tom and Steve is NEVER break a multi-page letter with the end of a sentence. Entice the reader to turn the page and read on. Much like I hopefully enticed you to read this second blog with the way I ended the first blog by starting but not completing one of the Commandments. Commandment Number 6 – Whack Them Over the Head with an Interrupting Thought – Up Front. “Up front,” is the key term here. This doesn’t mean suddenly in the middle of your letter or email change the subject. That would not be good. It means ...Read more


Ten Commandments of Copy & Design Part I

November 28

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You Can’t Risk NOT Reading This! Did you decide to read on? Good. You’re already on your way to improved fundraising results by just knowing these Ten Commandments. (A quick wrap up of DMAW’s Ten Commandments Lunch & Learn featuring Tom Gaffny and Steve Fleshman.) Commandment Number 1 -- It’s Not All About YOU! Sorry. But it’s not. As Tom explains, “99.999999999% of your audience is not standing by their mailbox anxiously waiting for your fundraising package to arrive.” In addition: the average donor now receives over 50,000 marketing message a month. And that creates your challenge: You have about 3 seconds to capture someone’s attention and get them to open your carrier, even less to click ...Read more


My direct mail fantasy, and other myths

November 10

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  I've found the perfect direct mail donor. Her name is Gladys, and she gives to everything I send her, 100% of the time. But I’m not sharing her with you guys.  She’s mine. When Gladys gets a mailing from me, she does exactly what she’s supposed to do. When she sees my piece of mail in the mailbox, she plucks it right out. I think her heart skips a beat. She walks to a quiet place, where she won’t be disturbed. She gets in a comfortable chair. She turns off her phone. And when she opens the package? It’s magic. She pulls everything out of the envelope, knowing exactly what to read first. And she pours over every word.  If I write something extra clever in the 5th paragraph, she smiles. If I’ve somehow ...Read more


11 Commandments of Fundraising Design

November 2

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    I look in the mirror, and I start to think I LOOK as old as Moses, but that’s where the comparison seems to end. Though I do have close to 30 years in the industry, so I guess I have a few things I can share in the upcoming DMAW Lunch & Learn session on November 16th. Sure, designers are natural smartasses. Well, at least I am. So when Tom Gaffny of Tom Gaffny Consulting came up with the title, 10 Commandments of Compelling Copy, I just had to make mine 11. Are there actually 11 commandments of fundraising design? There are actually a LOT more than 11, but the 11th one I will be sharing is my favorite—and I truly hope you will come to this Lunch and Learn with Steve (that’s me) and Tom, so I can ...Read more