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Capability Company

A Message from our President


Spring is showing itself here in our neck of the woods, with new blossoms and leaves coming out. This is always a good time to do some spring cleaning and really think about what we do within our organization, rather than just doing the same old thing.

This month and next, we will discuss some organizational spring cleaning ideas. In this month's article, Ann Marie Amico encourages us to pay attention to the direct mail aspect of our marketing campaigns so they don't become stale or lose their effectiveness. Her article has a lot of helpful information and is longer than we usually print, so we've shortened it here for a quick read in this ezine. If you'd like to get details of each tip, you can read the entire article on our website. We hope you find her insight helpful.

We'd also like to take a moment to congratulate Andrew Watt, the new President and CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Please see the AFP website announcement posted in our sidebar.

Have a great month!

Sherry Heuser
President, Capability Company

Sherry Heuser's profile on LinkedIn

Click here to meet the rest of our staff.

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Article of the Month

Word count: 305
Approximate Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Tips for Effective Direct Mail for Non-Profits

by Ann Marie Amico

While many organizations have begun to rely more heavily on online marketing, traditional direct mail is still an important part of a successful marketing mix. A combination of both creates an effective campaign that grabs attention and allows you to contact your target audience more than once through different channels to promote a campaign or event. Any direct mail that you send out should encourage your target to go to your website for more information, where you have the opportunity to provide in-depth, updated content. This could be as simple as a postcard with your web site and Facebook information included on it.

What key factors contribute to a successful direct mail campaign? There are several, including the quality of your mailing list, the offer you make in your communication, strong design, effective copy, the timing of the campaign, and mailing specifications. Additionally, the lead-time you give your designer, the time you build into your schedule for printing and mailing, the type of printing you choose and USPS mailing specifications and costs have a huge impact on the success of your project.

Whether you are new to developing direct mail campaigns or a veteran testing your existing knowledge, the following tips will guide you as you develop your next project.  (please read the full article for detailed information about each tip)

  1. The quality of the mailing list you use has an impact on success.
  2. Your offer is a very important part of selling your campaign.
  3. Design should support the message, not be the message.
  4. Copy—make your best pitch
  5. Timing is critical—it’s not just an expression
  6. Your budget is your friend
  7. Great printing will let your project shine
  8. Mailing can make or break your project
  9. Testing and Return on Investment (ROI) leads to future success

Bottom Line:  Direct mail campaigns are an important part of any non-profit’s communication strategy. By developing clear goals, realistic budgets and allowing ample time for research, development and trouble shooting, you greatly increase the odds for a successful campaign. And you can enjoy the process!

Ann Marie Amico, principal of Ann Marie Amico Design Inc. for the past sixteen years, specializes in branding and marketing design for business, organizations and communities. Her focus is on listening—listening carefully as clients describe their businesses or organizations, customers and clients, goals and themselves. She then uses what she’s learned to develop logos and complete business identity packages, marketing brochures, postcards, invitations, newsletters, advertising/promotion design, web sites and exhibit collateral that reflect the unique features, personality and skills and products of her clients. You can reach Ann Marie by email at or by phone at 919-557-7222. Website:

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Event Calendar

Visit the current calendar of events on our website.



In This Issue

Current Searches
Article of the Month
The Bottom Line
Event Calendar


A Client's Perspective

"Thanks for all your help! You did a great job. I can just feel that [she] is going to be great here!”

Marsha Basloe
Durham’s Partnership for Children
  A Smart Start Initiative


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