Coffee. Java. Joe. Go Juice. Jet Fuel.
Tuesday, September 29, was National Coffee Day. Our president, Mark, often talks about how a brand is like a cup of coffee. However, today I want to consider how coffee can improve your direct mail program as it relates to fundraising. Let us take a look at three components of a great direct mail program and how they correlate with characteristics of coffee.
Have you ever gone to get a cup of coffee from a coffee pot… only to realize that the pot has been on for… well, let’s just say too long. There is a reason most coffee pots today have an automatic shut-off after two hours.
Your direct mail needs to be fresh and current. You need to take note of the newest trends in direct mail and make sure you are utilizing the best option for your audience. Maybe change up the format from time to time with different size paper or envelopes — something to keep people coming back for more.
Let’s be honest, most of us drink that cup of coffee (or two or three or 12) to help us get moving in the morning… or to help provide that extra boost to get through the afternoon.
Direct mail is not just about the “ask” for donations. True, the donation is the desired outcome of direct mail, but that is not the only component. Your first cup of coffee is your appeal letter, where you make the solicitation for the donation. But people also love to be informed about what their donation is accomplishing. Consider a quarterly or monthly newsletter as your second cup of coffee to update the donor base on what your organization is doing with the donations they are receiving. This will invigorate your donors and add energy to your direct mail program.
One thing about coffee is that we all have different tastes. There is no good or bad coffee (ok, there is bad coffee, but go with me on this), but really it is one’s own personal taste. Different types of coffee will have a greater appeal to different individuals. We have a Keurig coffee maker in our office and I pride myself in being the keeper of the K-Cups. But when I go to make my order, I keep in mind that some people prefer the dark roast, some like lighter, some prefer flavored coffee, and then, of course, there’s the tea drinkers.
Your organization is not going to appeal to everyone. Granted, we all want to reach the world with our message. However, we also have to realize that we are just part of the body that is reaching out and each part has its own specific mission – and those who will support that mission. Some people prefer organizations that are bolder than others. Some people like an organization that has a little more flavor. Some people prefer tea. You have to define your target and stay on the mark with your messaging.
So the next time you are sitting back and having a cup of coffee (or tea), think about how your direct mail program can be fresh, invigorating, and satisfying.