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The News & Insights You Need to Succeed

Knowledge truly is power when it comes to successful direct mail fundraising. In this Blog, you will find the resources you need to create, deliver, and measure your direct marketing and fundraising campaigns all in one place. Here, you’ll find all the insights you need to succeed.

From the PS Blog

Will We See You at the 2017 National Postal Forum?

We are looking forward to attending the 2017 National Postal Forum (NPF), which is being held at the Baltimore Convention Center next week from May 21–24. NPF has partnered with the United States Postal Service (USPS) to present the premier event in the mailing industry. The Forum focuses on mailing and shipping trends and promises a comprehensive educational program. If you are interested in expanding your knowledge on postal topics, this is an event you won’t want to miss. Many of Production Solutions’ key mailing and logistics partners will be onsite to network, listen to keynote speakers, and participate in the thought-provoking workshops. We’re particularly interested in hearing what the experts have to share on the following topics: Leveraging Informed Visibility Data Informed Visibility Data will enable mailers to get real-time mail piece scan data and start the clock visibility. Much like you can track an Amazon package on...

Innovate and Invest to Grow Your List and Community

Smart fundraisers and nonprofit marketers are always looking for effective strategies to grow their organization’s supporter base. Despite our best efforts to engage lapsed donors, the truth is that some amount of list churn is inevitable. Nonprofits need to prioritize list growth to grow and to account for this attrition.  According to the 2017 M+R Benchmarks report, the average email list churn for nonprofits is 14%. This means that in order to simply maintain their current list size, nonprofits need to continually invest their time, money, and energy into acquiring new supporters. Without investing in growth, your list of subscribers and potential donors naturally gets smaller each year. If you’re not swimming,  you’re sinking. Fortunately, there are many tried and true strategies to grow your list as well as many emerging tactics and effective technologies worth testing. Let’s dive in! Leverage Your Website It may be obvious, but your...

Marketing Automation is Almost Here. Is Your Nonprofit Ready?

You’ve probably heard someone throw around the term Marketing Automation (MA). Most likely you nodded, agreed it’s a game-changer, but truthfully weren’t even sure what it was. If you went so far as to Google it, then most likely you really got confused. Frankly, MA isn’t the easiest thing to define. This is because it is both an entire form of communication, as well as a platform for different channels of communication. In other words, MA replaces email, but it turns out that email is also one of the components that makes up marketing automation. Still confused? (Don’t worry, I was too.) Here’s a quick way to get your head around it – MA takes what a great fundraiser does and automates it. Imagine every potential donor receiving a satisfying, unique experience with your nonprofit as if they were catered to specifically. MA can do this by doing what...

Arguing For and Against Lightboxes

“What’s a lightbox?” That was my reaction when I first heard the term. I’d learned to write code back when they were called modal windows and were used to display warnings and errors. If you haven’t heard the term before, don’t worry, I’m starting a movement to bring it back, while proudly wearing my I Heart Visual Basic t-shirt. Let’s fast forward to today, where PS Digital has seen (and implemented) our share of lightboxes across countless websites. We often recommend a lightbox as a basic tactic to lift conversion, especially during the year-end giving season. On average, donations via lightboxes contribute 25% – 30% to our clients’ campaign results; and studies from the public broadcasting sector (as well as Unbounce) show that a lightbox can increase conversion by 80% – 100%. So, a lightbox is a great tactic to interrupt the experience of your website visitors and make...

Spring Fever and #17NTC

If you’re a nonprofit tech nerd like me, you spent the first spring weekend in March, not enjoying the glorious cherry blossoms that DC is famous for, but in a Woodley Park hotel at the 2017 Nonprofit Technology Conference hosted by NTEN, sharing and learning the latest in digital marketing and technology strategies from the best practitioners from across the US and Canada, all 2300 of them! From IT gurus, to social media scientists, to online activists and email marketing mavens—there was something for everyone and more than enough great information to go around. Here are a few things I remember from the whirlwind three days of sessions… Donors Carry Mobile Wallets Etore Rossetti from Save The Children, along with Kimbia and PayPal shared a wealth of learnings in the session Welcome to the Future: Mobile Wallets, Payments, and Philanthropy. Save the Children has been at the adoption forefront...

What It Takes to Be a Great Mentor

  As seen in the March 2017 edition of DMAW’s AdVents newsletter. There is a great deal of personal satisfaction that comes from watching someone you care about reach their full potential. But, mentoring goes far beyond that. Throughout my career, I have been fortunate enough to mentor employees and industry colleagues with varying experience levels and have benefited from mentors who are exceedingly smart and generous people. My mentors took risks and provided me with valuable guidance to develop professionally and navigate my career path.  The importance of a great mentor-mentee relationship is clear to me every day. I wouldn’t be in my current position without the personal investment my mentors have made in my professional success. From my experience, here are the characteristics that I see the best mentors possess: Investment in the Mentee An effective mentor views his or her mentee as a potential superstar, not just...

Postal News

Need the latest information on postal costs, rules, and regulations? Check out the Postal News by our industry-leading experts in postage and package strategy. Also, our very popular Postage Rates resource page is always available here.

Highlights of the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017

On January 31st the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee leaders introduced H.R. 756, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017. The bill addresses unfunded liabilities of the USPS®, makes reforms to keep mailing costs affordable for consumers, and encourages innovation, all without additional borrowing capacity from the U.S. taxpayer. The legislation is outlined under four main sections; Title 1 – Postal Service Benefits Reform Title II – Postal Service Operations Reform Title III – Postal Service Personnel Title IV – Postal Contracting Reform Title I Postal Service Benefits Reform focuses on three significant employee benefit programs; the Health Benefit Program, Retiree Heath Care Benefit Funding Reform and Pension Funding Reform. Of significance is that the Postal Service Retiree Health Care Benefit Funding Reform Act addresses the prefunding schedule established in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. Title II Postal Service Operations Reform allows the Postal Service... read more

2017 USPS Direct Mail Promotions to Save You Money

  Are you still looking for new ways to improve your 2017 marketing efforts? The United States Postal Service (USPS) has made it easy to try new direct response engagement strategies with their 2017 Promotions and Incentives. Building on last year’s promotions, the USPS demonstrates the continued relevance of direct mail. It provides more opportunities for nonprofits and commercial organizations to engage with their audience. As our team of Resource experts previously announced, the 2017 USPS direct mail promotions continue to build on technology integration. Let’s take a look at which promotions you can take advantage of this year to enhance how consumers interact with your mailings: What are the 2017 USPS Promotions? Mobile Shopping (or charitable donation) An upfront 2% postage discount on mailpieces that include a mobile barcode or print/mobile technology that can be read or scanned by a mobile device and leads the recipient to a mobile-optimized shopping... read more

Upcoming Industry Events

May

DMA Copywriting Essentials Live Online Course
Online
May 2 – June 6, 2017

Direct Marketing Institute with DCMP
Chicago, IL
May 8 –10, 2017

DMAW Data Strategy Forum
Arlington, VA
May 9, 2017

DMFA DC Lunchtime Learning: Mid-Level Giving
Washington, DC
May 15, 2017

Nonprofit Pro Leadership Conference
Philadelphia, PA
May 17, 2017

DMAW Lunch & Learn: Retention Roadmap
Washington, DC
May 18, 2017

National Postal Forum
Baltimore, MD
May 22-24, 2017

June

DMA Copywriting Essentials Live Online Course
Online
May 2 – June 6, 2017

DMFA Package of the Year Awards
New York, NY
June 7, 2017

AFP Fundraising Day
New York, NY
June 23, 2017

August

Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference
National Harbor, MD
August 2-4, 2017

DMANF Chicago Nonprofit Conference
Chicago, IL
August 28-30, 2017