An Executive Director's point of view
March 24, 2015: Multiple designs
Web pages, mobile device displays, email, printed flyers, postcards, magazine ads, posters, and lawn signs (if you host a public event), should all utilize separate designs that are constructed for maximum effectiveness in each of those settings.
Written copy, amount of copy, choice of colors, fonts and font sizes, images, design embellishments, etc. should differ depending where they are used.
The money spent for multiple designs will be far less than the money lost if members and customers have difficulty viewing and acting on promotional prompts that are not suitable for the settings in which they appear.
March 11, 2015: Don't stalk prospects
That was creepy. It was as if a salesperson had watched me while I looked at the chairs in a store, followed me home, and repeatedly slid promotional flyers under my door to induce me to buy those chairs.
You are not helping customers or members by seeding their internet views with products or information you think they will like. You are just letting them know that you are spying on them.
February 24, 2015: Direct mail benefits
Plus, direct mail often drives people to your web site. Watch for spikes in unique visitors after you've mailed.
January 15, 2015: Keep on printing
October 14, 2014: How not-for-profits communicate
August 13, 2014: A good spin
Here's the follow-up message I received not long after the errant note:
"It's not your birthday."
"Birthdays can be fun, and we can't wait to celebrate yours. In our excitement, we accidentally sent out your birthday greeting too soon. Please disregard our little slip up, and don't forget to act surprised when your real birthday is here!"
If you ever need to correct an association communication error (which, I imagine, won't happen often), something like this might do the trick.
Suspicious afterthought: Was the message really sent in error?
July 25, 2014: Canada law applies to USA
It sets specific requirements for contacting Canadians about meetings, products, and membership. It even applies to communication that is solely informative and not revenue-generating.
Check out this explanation of the law and be sure your organization will be able to comply.
July 01, 2014: Be a bad email marketer
June 10, 2014: I threw it away
I threw it away.
It was probably a sales pitch for that city, telling me all the wonderful things it could offer for my meeting. But it did not address my needs.
If the cover had said, "Reduced room rates" or "Fantastic Food" or "State-of-the-art AV" or "Innovative meeting room arrangements" I would have kept it because it would have told me something that might have benefited my association.
Telling me the name of the city was useless information.
February 26, 2014: Do more marketing
But if you don't tell anybody about your organization, nobody will know anything about it. They won't join, or donate, or volunteer.
Marketing should be an ongoing activity -all of the time. Not just before events or before fund-raising or membership recruitment campaigns.
And it should take place in as many venues as possible - not just the "one" that may be considered better than the others.
If you don't continually market your organization, there may soon be no organization at all and nothing to tell anybody about.