Month: February 2020

Can’t We Just Slap a Stamp on It?

Can’t We Just Slap a Stamp on It?

Just as donors won’t give a gift unless they’re asked to give, the USPS will not deliver a piece of mail unless proper postage is applied to it. And although we may not have a say in how much postage costs, we do have many choices in how postage looks on our packages. In fact, creative postage treatments can provide a more personalized look and feel, inviting the donor to open the package and boosting your results!

And specialized postage treatments are not just for outgoing mail. There are creative options for return mail, too!

Postage meters

Using a postage meter on your mail piece can make it look more official or formal, which works particularly well for urgent grams, renewal statements, and surveys. The meter can take up a good bit of real estate in the top right corner of the outer envelope, but there are now meters that can include a message to the donor, an image that may complement your package theme, a request for address correction service or even seasonal greetings.

Here are a few examples of meters that are commonly available (check with your production team/mail shop to find out exactly what meters they available):

Testing Idea: Are you using an indicia on a package that you’d like to refresh? Test the package using a meter instead! The cost to meter the envelope is minimal, and a different look could mean an increased response.

Multiple stamps

Affixing multiple stamps to reply envelopes for high-dollar packages is a technique nearly everyone has used over the last ten years or so, but that’s not the only place they can be used! Using multiple stamps on an outer envelope can be an effective way to get the donor into the package – a package with multiple stamps and a cancellation mark stands out in the mail box, particularly as we’re seeing fewer cancellation marks on straight first-class mail.

Why does an outer envelope with multiple stamps require a cancellation mark when a reply envelope with multiple stamps doesn’t? Good question!

The cancellation mark is required for multiple stamps if they total less than the current first-class postage rate. In the example above, the stamps total 5 cents, which is how much postage has to be affixed to a mail piece that mails at nonprofit rates. The cancellation mark over the stamps informs everyone who handles the mail piece that it was mailed at nonprofit rates, and the additional postage due has already been paid. No one wants to have mail returned for lack of postage, or worse, delivered to the donor with a postage due notice.

Testing Idea: Considering mailing a giving society invitation to a special group of donors? Try mailing it with multiple stamps on the OE for a high touch look.

Stamped Business Reply Mail

One could argue that the most overlooked component in a fundraising package is the reply envelope. As long as you have the correct address, a white mail code, and the appropriate postal markings, a reply envelope is a reply envelope, right?


The reply envelope is critical to the success of the package – it’s how the gifts get back to you! And making it stand out can really benefit a campaign.

Many mailers use business reply envelopes with a handwritten note along the lines of “Your first-class stamp will help us put more money to use right away!” but what about adding stamps to the BRE before it’s inserted into the package? Here’s an example:

Five $0.01 stamps across the top really make this envelope pop, and it reminds the donor that the organization is counting on a gift. While the postage and affixing costs for this are not significant, they can become cost-prohibitive if you’re mailing a large volume. Another organization recently sent a BRE with three stamp-like images printed on the top left corner. At first glance, it looked like stamps!

The USPS will refund a mailer for postage affixed to a business reply envelope as long as they comply with certain rules and requirements, and pay a small fee, but it may be worth the time if your return volume is high.

Testing Idea: If you’re using a business reply envelope for your acquisition control, consider adding stamps to the BREs for your lapsed audience or multis – this minor tweak may lift response without breaking the bank on these low-cost names.

It feels like we’re seeing a postage increase every January, so this is a perfect time to use postage creatively to get more of your money’s worth!

3 Questions About Our Work with EveryAction

AFB + Everyaction

EveryAction has an interview series with their consulting partners. In this interview, EveryAction’s Michael Stein speaks with K2D’s own Karin Kirchoff and Angela Guzman.

Michael Stein: We’re excited to share learnings from your work with American Foundation for the Blind. What kind of growth have you seen in their direct response fundraising program in the past year?

Karin Kirchoff & Angela Guzman: The overall AFB direct response program has demonstrated steady growth year over year, and recent organizational priorities have pushed working more aggressively in the digital space to the forefront, thus aligning AFB with EveryAction.

We are pleased to have seen strong year-over-year growth, particularly at year-end within the digital space, doubling the dollars raised for this period. We are further excited to note that of the donors who gave through the EveryAction platform in December, more than 70% represent first-time gifts on the platform. (Not necessarily new to AFB.)

Michael: What marketing channels have been driving that growth, and which ones performed especially well this recent year-end?

Karin & Angela: We’ve been having success for AFB across a number of direct response channels. Postal mail campaigns have continued to be strong, and we’ve made important refinements to grow revenue in that channel.

In digital channels, we’re having success with Google Grant search ads and Microsoft search ads. Google Grant search ads drove a good amount of revenue at year-end…nearly 7% of December online revenue! Microsoft search ads are new terrain for us with AFB, and we’re seeing a 200% ROI on our year-end test run, so we’ll certainly be expanding in this market in 2020. We did not run Facebook ads at year-end this year. We’ve been working to get some critical privacy protection infrastructure in place first and will be expanding efforts in this regard later in 2020.

Michael: You mentioned that you took advantage of accessibility improvements on EveryAction’s donation forms for people who are blind or low vision. Tell us more about that project and how you think it improved fundraising performance.

Karin & Angela: In order to launch their new website in April 2019, AFB had us implement a “workaround” coding solution that enabled proper accessible navigation of their donate pages while EveryAction worked to implement a broader, more seamless experience. The workaround included radio buttons beside each giving option, to allow for tabbed navigation between ask amounts. Ensuring accessible forms was not only critical for AFB’s fundraising success, but for maintaining trust as a leading organization on the accessibility front. Once the EveryAction improvements were ready for launch later in the year, we were able to remove the workaround for a cleaner user experience. We’re really excited that EveryAction has made a strong commitment to accessibility for people who are blind or low vision.

Note: This article originally appeared on the EveryAction blog