Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive gave me an idea for improving fund appeal response rates.
Here’s the setup: researchers sent 3 versions of a survey to potential respondents. The surveys either had:
- a hand-written post-it asking the person to complete the survey;
- a hand-written message on the cover sheet; or
- the survey and cover sheet with no hand-written note.
The surveys with the sticky notes had the highest response rates by far.
The unpersonalized letters had the lowest response rate, just 34%. A hand-written note increased the response up to 43%. And the letters with the sticky-note had the highest response at 69%.
Many nonprofits invite board members and volunteers to write personal messages on year-end appeals. The research indicates that this kind of personalization can increase response rates.
But it also indicates you can take the response up to the next level by adding a post-it note. Somehow that added touch makes it feel more real and more human.
I plan to give it a try this year. If you try it, let me know how it works for you.