In the digital world there is too much spam, what we used to just call junk mail. But, being a direct marketer as well as a fundraiser, I’m one of those who actually like junk mail. There is much to learn from reading the sales pitch or solicitation that another organization invests in sending. And if you see it three or four times, you know it is profitable.
Spam on the other hand, has few redeeming qualities. While ostensibly we can learn from those emails that continue to show up, yes, if they continually use the same ones it means they are profitable, they waste more time and resources than they are worth. Permission based marketing is the only way to go when it comes to email.
Yesterday I spoke to Doug at Estrella Marketing Solutions about testing some permission based email. He assured me that Estrella is one of only 4 email list brokers that both uses double opt-in permission and is whitelisted by AOL, where he tol me 52% of U.S. email addresses are still housed. Double opt-in means that not only odes someone have to sing up to receive email, but they have to verify a link in the first email they receive. It ensures that they want to receive offers.
I will most likely be testing a broadcast email for one of my clients. I think that prospecting is a good fundraising idea that finally ahs made its way into the digital age. Of course I will let you know the results. Ten thousand targeted names can be sent to twice for $1000. Thats a nickel per email sent. If that test works we can roll out to 200,000 in my target market for $4,000.
Some quick math shows that a 1% response rate and an average gift of $20, might even break even on the first mailing. That is heaven for any direct marketer. Most direct mailers are willing to spend 3 or 4 times the intial purchase to acquire a lead.
Now don’t try this at home kids. You don’t want to be prospecting by sending out unsolicited emails to any email address you can find. That’s called spam. If you are going to try this one, go with a reputable firm that insists on double opt-ins and is already white-listed by AOL. You can call Doug at Estrella or track down the other firms that fit the bill.
This is one fundraising idea I haven’t yet tried. But I’m looking forward to it.