We can't predict or guarantee your response. But one thing is an absolute certainty: an envelope that doesn't
get opened doesn't raise money. We can get more of your mail opened* if it's addressed in one of our proprietary
Computer HandScripts. And if you prefer, we can even create a custom Computer HandScript from samples of your
Twelve Steps to a Direct Mail Appeal that Always Gets Opened & Read . . .
1. Cover of note card prints in color.
2. Message prints in black conventional font.
3. Salutation prints in black conventional font
or blue or black Computer HandScript.
Alternatively, we can pre-print "Dear Friend"
in the salutation block, then strike it out and
print a blue or black personal HandScripted
salutation above it for a more personal touch.
4. Personalized P.S. note prints in black or blue
5. Outgoing Envelope (OGE) address in black
or blue Computer HandScript.
6. Return address can print in black or blue
Computer HandScript for no extra cost.
7. Live postage stamp is affixed.
8. Nonprofit, commercial bulk, and first class
presort stamps are canceled to make them
look like cards sent at the full first class mail
rate. This can save up to 70% on postage &
boost response over naked (not canceled)
nonprofit mail by more than 25%.
9. Bar codes are printed not above the address,
but in the right corner where the Post Office
does, so they won't scream: "I'm junk mail!"
10. Reply envelope prints 1/0 black.
11. Personal Reply Device or to be more personal...
12. We can eliminate the reply device and personalize
the reply envelope instead.
Our most common package targets current donors, asking them to repeat
or increase their giving. Most providers offer a similar package for about
$1.00 each. Ours start at half the cost. What's more, in doctoral research
A/B tests compared mail personalized in Computer HandScript to identical
hand-personalized mailings. Computer HandScript beat real handwriting!
Ph.D. Research Conducted at Peter F. Drucker School of Management & Claremont School of Educational Studies
Research has shown that Computer HandScript-addressed mail can more than double response. The following
excerpts data from a four-year doctoral study conducted by Frank Dickerson on the language of fund raising. The research capped off four years of work at The Claremont Graduate University's Peter F. Drucker School of Management and with faculty in the university's School of Educational Studies. Frank also collaborated with Dr. Douglas Biber of Northern Arizona State University and Drs. Ulla Connor and Thomas Upton of Indiana University. The study analyzes both language (67 specific linguistic features) and paralanguage (physical characteristics of direct mail and online fund-raising discourse). Of the paralanguage variables studied (elements that work alongside text), two tests stand out . . .
1. A hand-personalized note card package versus one produced with Computer HandScript simulated handwriting.
2. A Computer HandScript simulated handwritten note card package versus a window envelope package.
What the Data Uncovered:
The following table reflects the results achieved in two segments of a series of mailing campaigns sent to more
than a million households by the American Heart Association. While we can neither promise nor predict your results, the study's findings are consistent with what other organizations have experienced, based on a thorough review of the published literature which included campaigns by several of our worthy competitors.
Two Salient campaigns Reported by The American Heart Association
Computer HandScript Beat Real Handwriting
The Computer HandScript segment in the first test above out-performed real handwriting. The positive response may have been attributable to two factors. First, the quality was consistent across the thousands of pieces mailed and second, the Computer HandScript simulated handwriting usued looked realistic because it was created from samples of real handwriting.
But with Fake-looking Handwriting Fonts, Results Plummeted
However, in subsequent tests reported in the paper referred to above, The American Heart Association saw results plummet when an obviously fake handwriting font was used. This suggests that emulating the realism of actual handwriting is an important factor in such campaigns. (See an example of a Computer HandScript Campaign we conducted for Utah Youth Village).
The Window Envelope Control Package Raised Slightly More Net Income, but Regained Far Fewer Donors
The inexpensive window envelope package raised slightly more net income than the Computer HandScript note
card package because its cost was far less. However, since the primary aim of this campaign was to renew donors,
the more important goal was to boost donor retention statistics. The Computer HandScript segment attracted 346%
You Can Download the a 16 MB pdf of the Dissertation Chapter, or a Shorter Article Summary
The A/B comparisons summarized above, along with additional segments studied, are reported in greater detail in two papers that can be downloaded by clicking on the following hyperlinked titles:
1. The first article is actually an 84-page chapter, excerpted from Frank Dickerson's doctoral dissertation: Writing the
Voice of Philanthropy: How to Raise Money with Words ( An examination of linguistic, paralinguistic, and rhetorical dimensions of written fund-raising discourse): The Impact of Paratextual Variables on Response and ROI. This chapter
reviews several published studies that have used handwriting or simulated handwriting to improve direct mail campaign response. It also includes the entire 22-page bibliogrphy from the dissertation from which the chapter was taken.
(Note: this is a large 16 MB pdf because it exhibits all the art from the campaigns summarized.)
2. The second article, An Executive Summary of The Impact of Paratextual Variables, is a two-page summary of the
chapter on paratextual variables.
Examples of High Touch Fund Appeal Card Packages
The following is an example of a High Touch Greeting fund appeal that has been particularly popular because its small size virtually guarantees that it will get opened.