In direct mail acquisition, it is essential to continually integrate testing into each campaign in order to stay fresh and avoid fatigue. Industry go to’s for testing in direct mail are package and list testing, as these can help ensure an acquisition program stays up-to-date. But, if you want to up your testing game, cooperative database model testing is essential to staying on top of the charitable market. Modeling makes a HUGE difference in direct mail acquisition! There are a diversity of Co-Op databases and models available that all offer a variety of products which are designed to find the best donors possible for your organization.
To drill down a bit -- Co-Ops provide a variety of models, such as response or profile, and can also assist with optimizing house data, such as deep lapsed or petition signers, which can more effectively identify the most responsive names. They can even provide models built with specific goals in mind! Whether you are trying to leverage maximize response rate, increase average gift, decrease your investment per donor, etc. Employing models and house file optimization along with traditional outside lists can help improve acquisition performance or boost specific campaign goals.
One of the best ways to leverage Co-Op usage is to join several Co-Ops, test which ones provide the best results over time, and focus usage on the top 3-4 based on those results. Participating with multiple Co-Ops provides more access to new pools of potential donors that are likely to respond to your organization and package.
As always, it is important to keep testing! Each Co-Op and model have their own unique aspects that may work better in certain seasons or with certain packages. Working with your Co-Op contact can help devise solid testing strategies for new models or utilization of existing models, and also finesse these models to best fit your unique organization. There are huge pools of donors out there and Co-Ops can help you identify and access them!