Archive for category Directmail

Are You Meeting Your Fundraising Goals?

How Nonprofits Can Add New Donors
and Retain Current Ones

Despite these tough economic times, Americans still support organizations and causes that matter to them. So nonprofits that remain focused while adeptly fine-tuning their strategy can emerge stronger and more effective. They need to find ways to add new donors and retain every single one they already have to meet fundraising goals. We all know that the more engaged supporters become with a cause and organization, the more they can be counted on for their continued support.

Nonprofits can increase engagement by making it convenient for their donors to donate online or through a mobile device—providing tools that ignite excitement and commitment to furthering the cause, and empowering donors to connect with others who share their enthusiasm.

Dual channel donors (those who give both offline and online) are the most valuable to nonprofit organizations, so those who offer multiple channels are more likely to survive economic hard times with better retention, higher revenue per donor, higher levels of engagement, etc.

A great start for any nonprofit is to put the building blocks for effective multi-channel fundraising in place:

  • Mobile-optimized  and Web donation pages
  • Personalized landing pages (also known as PURLs) for campaigns, event registrations, and updating contact and interest information
  • Social-media sharing
  • Video for greater impact

Utilizing PURLs instead of organization websites enables donors to be more informed and have faster access to pertinent details. PURLs provide an opportunity for engagement that is unmatched by organization websites, which have EVERYTHING, i.e., one can get lost.

Consider landing pages specific to campaign needs and even more specific to individual donors!  Give them everything need to know, laid out nicely for them on Web pages, with clear instructions on not only what they should do but how their involvement and contributions to the organization make a difference.  With the added bonus of survey questions or the ability to update contact information,

PURLs open up a dialogue between the organization and donor, increasing data intelligence as well as engagement.

The impact of video in Web landing pages or sent out as links in eCards is unparalleled for resonating with donors. Video in communications is amazing, especially how it can get in touch with a donor’s personal passion for the cause. One idea is filming donors on WHY they care. Their powerful testimonials are impactful!  Donors can nail an organization’s case for support in a way the organization may never be able to do.

Ninety-five percent of donors say it feels good to give. Let them talk about it on camera. They will talk about the WHY — why the cause is so important, why it’s so urgent. Nonprofits can let their DONORS be their best advocates! Of course, putting the donors on camera does something else too: it cultivates them deeply. Paying attention to the donors, touching their hearts, and pulling out a powerful marketing tool and message can give a fundraising program a real boost.

Curtis 1000’s multi-channel solutions support our customers’ online, mobile and social networking needs. For further information on multi-channel engagement strategies for Nonprofits, including Education Institutions, please visit us HERE.

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Want To Catch Your Prospect’s Eye?

CreatiFont™ incorporates your direct mail recipient’s name into an image or design, creating immediate interest.

Write each person’s name in clouds or in lightning in the sky – or on a luggage tag or whiteboard – or on a coffee cup or Santa’s list. CreatiFont™ enriches personalization by transforming images into fonts. Use it in all types of communications, including:

  • Prospecting for New Customers, Donors or Members
  • Special Offers
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Event Invitations

And so much more! Our clients increase their trade show traffic and event attendance, enhance their brand awareness, and drive visitors to their websites – just by cleverly combining fonts and images with CreatiFont™ and inserting the names in their databases into designs. Shop for your favorite design among the idea-starters we present here, then ask your Curtis 1000 Business Solutions Consultant how you can use it – or a similar idea – to increase response rates.

CreatiFont™ is a trademark of Curtis 1000 Inc. for its brand of personalization with combinations of fonts and design.

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Rescue Mission Exceeds Campaign Donation Expectations


Shirley’s House of Hope is a mission that provides
emergency shelter and care for abused women and
children, and helps meet the physical, emotional,
social and spiritual needs of those who want to break
the cycle of abuse. The mission’s goal was to acquire
new donors through a direct mail campaign and
perhaps break even on this mailing with the idea of
cultivating those new donors in years to come. Their
house list consisted of 226 records.


Our first campaign was an acquisition year-end mailing
that dropped the first of November. The format was a
control package plus a premium package, which was a
Gift Labels product in a #10 display window. The
customer supplied their house list of 226 and the rest
were “cold” prospects. The database was divided
between gift labels and no premium for a total mailing
of 10,111 records, which were segmented by income


Of the 194 total gifts that resulted from the campaign,
156 were from the list of cold prospects and 38 were
from the from house list. The average gift on
Acquisition (first-time gift) was $56.35. The average
gift in Cultivation was $99.13.

At a nearly 2% cumulative response rate (1.6% on the
Acquisition and 17% on the Cultivation), and bringing
in donations that were almost twice the investment,
this campaign exceeded the mission’s expectations.
With the initial goal to acquire new donors and perhaps
break even on this mailing—cultivating those donors in
years to come—the results speak for themselves:
mission accomplished.

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Variable digital printing saves time, money and maintains corporate identity


Comcast is the largest provider of cable services in the nation—and one of the world’s leading communications companies. Known for their innovative programming, Comcast delivers digital services, fast internet, and broadband phone service.


The Comcast Atlanta Consumer Division had just started their “digital migration” program—converting customers from analog signal to digital signal. They were using a series of four mailings to accomplish this communication to their customers, doing each mailing weekly as a standalone. Comcast wanted to save time and money while maintaining consistency in their branding.


Curtis 1000 suggested converting from weekly standalone mailings to a shell program, incorporating offset printed shells and digital overprints for all the variable information changes from mailing to mailing.


The benefits realized for Comcast are as follows:

  1. The shell program maintains consistency in branding
  2. The streamlined process / digital automation saves time
  3. They are saving about 30% in overall costs compared with their previous vendor

They also have a partner that is flexible, easy to work with, and responds quickly, allowing Comcast to concentrate on their core competencies.

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Credit Union Gets Great Responses and Wins Merit Award


Westerra Credit Union, formed after the merger of four different credit unions, has over $1 billion in assets and 88,000 members. Membership is open to those who live or work in a three-county area in and around Denver, Colorado, as well as employees, students, graduates, retirees and family of Denver Public Schools, Jeffco Public Schools and Safeway Corporation. Building on the strengths of all four credit unions, Westerra strives to fulfill its motto of “We are Working for You.”


Searching for a way to get time-sensitive information and promotional and event messages into the hands of their members, Westerra Credit Union wanted to test the use of email campaigns.


Curtis 1000 designed and implemented four email campaigns sent to segments of the credit union’s member base.

The first campaign was sent to members who had not yet responded to a direct mail piece requesting members to share stories about the credit union that could be used to help promote its 75th Anniversary. The message was, “Celebrate 75 years with a Caribbean cruise or weekend getaway, ‘I love my credit union’.” The objective was for members to click-through to the Westerra website and enter their stories online. Curtis 1000 designed the email in a template form so Westerra can use it for future email campaigns and to ensure their branding remains consistent.

In the second email campaign, Westerra Credit Union wanted to warn their members quickly about a text message scam. Curtis 1000 used the same look and feel of the first email message, removing the images and some of the extra graphics since it was more of an informational email.

The third and fourth campaigns informed members of a new online banking system coming soon. The third email gave details about what to expect, new enhancements, how to log in and use the bill pay, and contact information if the members experienced any trouble. The fourth email was a short reminder sent out the day before the switch over to the new system


Curtis 1000 used the report dashboard to show Westerra the number of emails that were delivered and how many people clicked through to the site. We were also able to give the credit union any messages that did not get delivered so they could update their system and work with the members to obtain valid email addresses. Westerra had an excellent open rate percent on all of their email campaigns to date – 8.3% campaign one, 25.5% campaign two, 17% campaign three, and 30.1% campaign four. Westerra was also was awarded a Merit Award by the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council for the “Celebrating Our Members” eMail campaign.

Feedback from the credit union’s Marketing Manager, Lexie Vean: “Curtis 1000 is very unique. Their marketing and technical background has helped Westerra take our e-mail marketing strategy to the next level. They are extremely professional, fun to work with and are flexible to all of our marketing needs. Curtis 1000’s work is thoughtful, professional and has been a perfect fit for our organization.”

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New Approach Nets University Donations and Updated Information

Annual Giving Multi-Channel Case Study

Indiana Wesleyan University – Marion, IN


Indiana Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered academic community committed to developing students in character, scholarship and leadership. The Annual Giving department was already using Curtis 1000 for direct mail campaigns. The Director of Annual Giving was interested in trying a new approach to reach out to alumni, get updated contact information, and solicit donations.


The Annual Giving department utilized Curtis 1000 to put together a four-part campaign to four segments: traditional student alumni, non-traditional student alumni, family, and friends. The campaign dropped in late May and consisted of approximately 20,000 postcards with a personalized URL, a follow-up email campaign, and a follow-up letter campaign. Curtis 1000 designed the full campaign and created high-impact pieces.

The first piece the target audience received was the postcard with personalized URL. Upon visiting the PURL, the recipient would first see a letter from the Dean of the Chapel, and then they would be taken through two survey landing pages, a story request to share a memory, and lastly a thank-you page with a link to Donate Now. Two weeks following the postcard, a follow-up email was sent to anyone who did not respond, which generated a big spike in activity. Later that month, a follow-up traditional direct mail response-marketing piece was sent, still highlighting the PURL but also including a donation form and business reply envelope.


The Annual Giving Director was thrilled with the survey response and the information that was gathered. In the past, they had paid outside firms more and received a lot less information.

Customer Feedback:

Annual Giving Director Kevin Stirratt was impressed with the campaign creativity, commenting that “you get it” and “your design was as creative as anything we have ever produced.”

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