TeamSoper E-Bulletin

04 Oct

Direct Mail Cooperative

With most of public television's members acquired in on-air pledge drive, the role of acquisition direct mail has declined in many stations annual membership plans.  Yet because direct mail members are more likely to support the "cause" of supporting their local public television station, their first year and subsequent year renewal rates are higher ... as is their propensity to make additional gifts.

List selection is critical.  We find members where other organizations find donors or subscribers.  Package and copy testing are essential.  Pooling together its clients, TeamSoper secure multiple bids from print supplier and mailshops that lower mailing costs for each and every client.

TeamSoper provides clients with a full range of direct mail services, including the following:

TeamSoper can manage your annual acquisition, special / additional gift appeals, and / or renewal mailings.

  • Discover how we've increased client's active number of members by 8% or more in just 30 days -- Once with just one week's advance notice!
  • Learn about special / additional gift appeal campaigns that produced results up to ten times greater than the client's previous top performer.
  • Reduced client's direct mail creative, production, and mail management costs by more than 50%.

Want to learn more about direct mail acquisition and other public television membership tips and techniques?  Just take a moment to give us a call at 435-654-5896 or subscribe to our occasional TeamSoper eBulletins.  To subscribe, just complete the form on the left side of this page.

20 Aug

The Membership Challenge


Overall, your station may face nothing more or nothing less than the industry-wide decline in membership revenues.  Even so, it represents a life and death threat.

I believe the cause for this decline is a lack of understanding about the impact of the reach, frequency, message, and merchandising associated with today’s on-air membership fundraising drives.

Research indicates that the percentage of members who cite merchandise as the primary motivator for making a pledge has increased 300% during the 1990’s.  My own research, funded by CPB, indicated that on-air fundraising has a greater impact on the positioning of public television than all other promotional, branding, advertising, and public relations activities combined.

My conclusion is that public television, often believing there is no “real cost” to using its own medium, has dramatically under estimated the impact of pledge drives themselves on current, lapsed, and potential members.  On-air drives define how public television expects to be supported – and that viewers will receive something in return for their contribution.

In short, “public television is using the world’s most powerful communication medium to teach good donors bad behavior.”  And, we’re seeing the results in all stations’ membership files and, ultimately, in cultivation of major donors.

So, while your station may not be unique, its past success makes it the most vulnerable to how the industry is currently defining the benefit exchange between stations and their supporting viewers.  Because roughly one-half of all members are on-air acquired, premium-accepting members are unlikely to renew or make additional gifts via the mail or phone, stations are at even greater risk because every single day the other half of all members – those who have been giving for 5+ years – get older or develop new giving priorities.

Michael B. Soper, President, TeamSoper, has been addressing these questions since the mid-1990's ... and we will continue to highlight the risks associated with high-perceived value thank you gifts / premiums and it's impact on the lifetime value of members.

16 Nov

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