Fundraisers Shed Light on DM Premiums

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WASHINGTON -- About 75 percent of donor mailing lists were built through the use of premiums, according to the leaders of a breakout session yesterday at the 12th annual conference of the Direct Marketing Association's Nonprofit Federation.

That was the answer to one question in a quiz given to attendees at the session's start. That and other facts about using premiums as incentives for donors were revealed as the session progressed.

The session was given by Raymond Grace, president, and Michael Robinson, IT director, of Creative Direct Response, a direct marketing agency for nonprofits.

Though no two charities are alike and consideration must be given to the use of premiums, Grace said, there's a reason they have been used for years.

"They work, and that's why people keep going back to them," he said.

Other answers to quiz questions included:

• It is important to indicate whether a premium is free.

• Combinations of premium and straight letter offers work best.

• The response rate of premiums is double that of straight letters.

• File size grows faster with premiums than with straight appeals.

• Premiums should be retested even if they work.

• Postage for a premium offer can be less than for a straight appeal depending on volume.

Grace cited address labels, pads, calendars and bumper stickers as types of premiums often used. He also said that the types of organizations using premiums successfully include those related to health, veterans, children, religion, social service and animal rights.

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