Renew your renewals

July 23, 2012
Your renewing supporters provide you with reliable, low-cost revenue that helps your organization thrive.
The added bonus of a solid renewal program is that once you write some effective letters… design packages that work… and set up a production schedule… you can pretty much place your program on auto-pilot, which gives you valuable time to work on other more challenging or high-touch aspects of your program. 
Yet, with so much at stake in your renewal program, you never want to completely put it out of your mind. 

Here’s how to give your renewals an annual check-up.

First, check your data. 
What’s your response rate? Is it higher or lower than last year? What about your five-year trend? What’s your average gift? Is it increasing or decreasing? How fast are your members migrating from mail to online giving?
Then check your packages.
Is your letter and email copy still relevant and up to date? Does it sound like your organization? Are there any areas where you could be a bit more urgent… a bit more direct… or even more compelling with refreshed stories?
What about your reply devices? Are they easy to fill out, with no distractions to send donors in other directions? Is your online giving form all on one simple page? Have you worked out how to pre-populate your form with individualized information?
Take a spin through your envelope and email design.  Is it simple and clean? Does it feel fresh or tired? Can you strengthen your teasers or subject lines to cause even more people to open that envelope or email?
Chances are, if your program is working well, you won’t fix much. But as in all direct response efforts… every detail matters. It’s about making the small, incremental changes that will help you raise more money in the coming year.