Auditing Your Direct Mail: 3 Ideas for Improvement

A lot of nonprofits look to M&C to review and critique their direct mail. Creative audits are one of our favorite types of projects. It's gratifying when relatively small changes dramatically improve results, as is often the case.

Here are a few of the consistent pitfalls we see nonprofits make with their direct mail:
  • Trying to get too much in—A direct mail piece should have one primary call to action. Resist the urge to put the kitchen sink in there because you are making a larger investment in direct mail. Get your primary action in there early and often—and don't assume your readers will make it to the backside (sad as it is).
  • Being too focused on you—Yes, the mailpiece is coming from your organization, but you have to focus on the readers' needs and wants. Around here, we call that "meeting them where they are." And not expecting it to be the other way around. 
  • Letting "pretty" outweigh functional—Consistent branding is important but when the rules go too far, then they do more harm than good. A competent graphic designer should build standards that provide as much flexibility as they do limitations and that work with the full spectrum of channels. And if you're encouraged to use headlines or fonts that are hard to read, run. And run fast.  
Get in touch with M&C if you're interested in learning more about creative audits.