The power of mystery in fundraising

I’m in awe of this envelope:

BigmysteryOE
It’s 11.5 x 12 inches. There’s a lot of stuff in it, giving it some heft. And an amazing amount of information.

But not a clue who sent it, or why.

(Turns out it’s a life insurance offer. Sorry, I’m not looking for that.)

This is great direct mail. An inspiration to us all.

Mystery is one of the most enticing of human motivations. When we can’t tell what something is, we are compelled to find out.

So a direct mail envelope that says a lot — without telling you anything — it has a high likelihood of getting opened.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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