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Grizzard Expands Seasonal Rescue Efforts

Direct marketing agency Grizzard, Los Angeles, hopes the increased response rate it garnered from the introduction of the QZip+ Mailing into its recent Easter campaign will translate to this year's remaining seasonal efforts: Thanksgiving as well as its first ever Christmas fundraising campaign with 21 rescue missions around the country.

The Thanksgiving mailings will use a mixed media strategy, which will include direct mail, co-op mailings, newspaper space ads, newspaper inserts, and QZip+ Mailings, which ask for donations to feed the homeless. It expects the drop to total more than 10 million pieces.

The Christmas mailings, which will start dropping in November, will be conducted in 21 test markets and will total nearly 1 million pieces using the QZip+ Mailings, which according to the company, are basically self mailers that are mailed to specific ZIP codes. QZip+ Mailings originally reached donors via co-op mailings such as Advo and Val-Pak. But according to Grizzard vice president Randy Brewer, co-ops were not reaching certain areas with large number of donor prospects.

“The problem with some of the co-op mailings is that you do not have total control of what particular ZIP codes the pieces are being mailed to,” he said. “We needed to come up with a cost-effective way for these missions to get this piece in the hands of as many prospective donors as possible.”

Grizzard then went out and purchased its own list of nonprofit donors and prospects. It used the same piece that was included in the co-ops but added a nonpersonalized outer white envelope stating “Important Information Enclosed” across the front, and called it the QZip+ Mailing. The piece, according to Brewer is nonpersonalized and is intended to reach the low-end prospective donor.

A few years back Grizzard stopped doing Easter solicitations and prospecting for its missions all together because of low response rates. This past Easter it tested the QZip+ Mailing in 12 markets, mailing between 20,000 to 50,000 pieces in each. Brewer would not disclose actual results but said each one of the markets broke even, and “most in fact made money.”

Because of the success of the Easter campaign's success with the QZip+ Mailing, there are tentative plans for a nonholiday pack to drop in July.

“We think we might get it to work in the dead of summer,” Brewer said. “Originally it was intended to be done with only our mission groups, but we are also now thinking of using it with our other charities.”

Response rates to the Thanksgiving QZip+ Mailings — the only results the company would release — were higher than the mailings that went out in the co-ops.

“The response went up dramatically,” he said. “We saw them go up from 0.35 percent with the co-op mailings to 1.5 with the QZip+ Mailing. The average gift was also higher.”

Brewer said the QZip+ Mailing allowed the missions to get into the prospective donors house at a third of the cost.

“We still use high-end direct mail pieces for the best prospects,” he said. “But when there is a ZIP code or an area where there are people we feel we are missing and could be getting donations from, we use the QZip+ Mailing.”

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