Some of the best practices in creating a donor appeal campaign includes segmenting the target audience into New Grads, New Grad Renewals and Regular Renewals. The direct mail piece can be versioned for these segments. If an offer is part of the campaign, this too can be versioned among the intended recipients. For instance, more recent grads can receive an offer of an ITunes gift card, while older graduates can be given a premium item of greater value that is reflective of their past giving amounts. This can all be communicated on the direct mail piece. The mailers can be further segmented into age, gender, degree and geographical groups as well. All of this data is usually readily available to an organization.
With the proper segmentation, personalized direct mail can increase acquisition and retention rates and ultimately go a long way towards meeting the fundraising goals of any academic institution.