Targeted Survey Enhancement Boosts Direct Mail Response | Nonprofit

7/28/2022 RRD

Targeted Survey Enhancement Boosts Direct Mail Response | Nonprofit

Brief, personalized survey creates a connected experience and reinforces donor value


A nonprofit conservation and education organization with over one million members and partners uses direct mail as their main vehicle to increase awareness of environmental issues and raise funds to help replenish natural resources.

In the past they had tested a variety of format sizes and styles suggested by RRD before landing on the jumbo mailer that is their current control. To determine what size mailer pulled the best response, they first mailed a 9-by-9-inch enveloped kit. It did well in the mail, but when tested against a 9-by-12-inch mailer, the larger size increased response by 25%.

Further testing proved that an even larger, 11-by-14-inch jumbo flat increased response by an additional 18%. This jumbo format became the control. They then asked the direct mail experts at RRD to recommend proven techniques they could incorporate into their already successful control format that would further increase response.


RRD added a brief survey to a mailing kit to create a connected experience and increase response. Personalization was also incorporated to localize the survey questions and further enhance results.

The survey questions were specifically developed to help guide the reader’s thoughts as to the reasons why they should support this organization. Adding a survey also provided our client with a reason to recognize the consumer with a “Thank You” gift or offer for their input and participation in the survey. This created an additional, valuable touchpoint in this member-nonprofit relationship.


Adding a personalized survey to this client’s already successful jumbo-sized “Annual Appeal” mailing campaign was a breakthrough winner. This organization improved response by up to 50%.

When adding a premium gift as a thank you for completing and returning the survey, response rates jumped as much as 100%.

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