You can sometimes boost response to a direct mail piece by adding an involvement device -- something that deepens the connection between the donor and the gift you want her to give.
It might be something the donor keeps as a reminder, like a bookmark, a tag that says "keep this for your records," or a photo.
Or -- and this can be even more powerful -- it can be something you ask the donor to send back with her gift. Something that symbolizes the connection and the impact of her giving because it will accompany something the gift makes possible and be seen by the recipient. Some things of this type:
- A gift tag
- A bookplate
- Greeting card
- A "shipping label."
There's real power in involvement devices. They can jolt response upward. In some cases, though, they push down average gift.
The trick is to have a strong and clear connection between the involvement device and the cause. A get-well card can work if the offer is to help someone get well. A gift tag can do the job if there's a gift involved in the offer.
Involvement devices that aren't as well connected, like coins, can still boost response -- just keep a close eye on results, to make sure you aren't trading away long-term value form short-term response.