February 23, 2017 Douglas Shaw & Associates

If your data isn’t clean, or you make assumptions about the donors who support you, you end up communicating to the wrong person!

For years, I’ve heard people (even those in the direct response business) say that they open their mail over the trash can so they can rid themselves of the dreaded junk mail. And in the digital world it’s even easier to be ignored.

After nearly 40 years (hard to believe I’m really that old!) and tens of thousands of direct response samples (from appeals to catalogs to credit card offers), I’ve identified some of the reasons why your communications may have been relegated to the proverbial circular file, too often unopened.

Number 1: You sent it to the wrong person! This may seem like a penetrating look into the totally obvious but it happens more times than I can count. Often, it’s because your data isn’t clean. Other times you make assumptions you shouldn’t make.

Last year, between December 1 and early January, I received no less than nine email invitations to join the IWLA. For those of you playing along, that’s the International Women’s Leadership Association. I was invited because of my great contributions as a woman . . .

If you thought that was an anomaly, later in the year I received another invitation to wear a dress to support an organization. Now that’s something that you don’t want to see!

You’ve probably heard the adage “One person’s trash is another’s treasure”. It’s only trash if you don’t want it. My friends at Amazon are teaching your donors that the organization’s they support should be paying attention both to what they say and what they do.

If your data isn’t clean, or you make assumptions about the donors who support you, you end up communicating to the wrong person.

But wait, there’s more!

Be sure to read some of the other top reasons why your donors are throwing away your communications.

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