We believe that a direct mail fund raising program should be run like a business. By that we mean there should be a budget with costs and goals for each mailing, clients must control both the copy and cost of all mailings and the direct mail agency should be rewarded only to the extent you are pleased with and proceed with the program.
That is why if you decide that you would like us to undertake a direct mail program for you, we will first present to you several items for your review and approval. We will prepare for your review the following:
1. Draft of the letter - we will write the letter text, reply form and any enclosures, which might be included in the package. If you should have any changes to the text, we would strongly encourage you to tell us what the problems might be and allow us to draft the corrections. One of the surest ways to doom a direct mail package is to write by committee. Although direct mail letters are not written in a conventional manner, our clients usually find that they need to make very few changes to a letter text.
2. Mock art work - we will prepare mock art for the package. In direct mail you want art work, which reflects well on the organization and the signer without being so upscale that it distracts from the appeal or makes it appear that the organization is so wealthy that it does not need any funds.
3. List Recommendation - Based on our knowledge of lists and our extensive mailing programs for other top organizations, we will make a recommendation of lists we suggest mailing to each prospect mailing. The success of a direct mail program hinges on three key factors: A) strong persuasive offer; B) the right lists; and, 3) a low enough cost that the package can be mailed profitably.
4. Exact Budget - Before each and every prospect mailing we will bid the elements of the package or the package as a whole to at least three different vendors. We will prepare a budget of the exact costs of the printing, mailshop and other services, which go into the mailing. In this way you will know in advance precisely how much each mailing will cost. If we exceed the approved budget we become responsible for the difference. Also, all of the invoices will be addressed directly to you care of Griswold & Griswold, Inc. We will review all the invoices to ensure that the printers have not put any additional charges on which were not approved and not contained in the purchase orders which we created in response to the approved budget.
In order for any mailing to go forward, you will have to approve all four elements. In this way you maintain complete control over your program. Once those items are approved, our production staff will take care of all of the hundreds of details involved in producing the mailings.
If you would like, we will also recommend to you a bank or other facility to receive, deposit and prepare reports on the donor responses to the mailings.
After a mailing is complete, the bills from the various vendors will be sent to you care of Griswold & Griswold, Inc. We will review the bills to ensure their accuracy and forward them on to you for payment. Prior to the mailings we will present to you a postage estimate and any list invoices, which require prepayment.
Also, from time to time we will come to you for checks, which can be deposited in your BRE account at the post office. These deposits allow you to receive postage paid mail.
I think it is important to note that neither I nor Griswold & Griswold, Inc. have any interest in or receive commissions from any of the printers, mailshops, computer houses or lists we will recommend to you. All of our recommendations are based on what we believe will raise the most net money for you. Further, at no time does Griswold & Griswold, Inc. ever receive or have control over a client's funds.