2017 Package of the Year Awards Announced

Lautman is proud to announce that two of our partners, The Actors Fund and the Human Rights Campaign, have won honors at the Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association’s 2017 Package of the Year Awards awarded June 7th at the Yale Club in New York city.

The Actors Fund was the winner in the Mid-Level Renewal category.
This national human services organization that helps professionals in performing arts and entertainment is a safety net, providing programs and services for those who are in need, crisis or transition.

Our strategy for this campaign was to highlight the benefits that members would receive with their In the Spotlight gift.

Members were told they would receive even more access to great shows on Broadway and in Los Angeles, as well as exclusive invitations to premiere parties and galas that were not available to other members. In addition, we added a small, but high-value, back-end premium — a pen and keychain set with the In the Spotlight branding engraved on them — to create a way for the member to publicly demonstrate their membership in this elite group.

The package itself was invitation-style, but we added bells and whistles. The 6×9.5 OE used a high-touch grey linen stock, and a handwritten font was used to make it look incredibly personal. Best of all, it included a personalized return address label from Annette Bening, the actress who was the letter signer for this special invitation (she herself is a member of the ITS). The very personal letter from Annette mentioned the amazing benefits, but more importantly — spoke very emotionally about her experience being part of The Actors Fund family.

Inserts were included to describe the ticket and concierge service benefits in great detail, and an additional buckslip promoted the high-value ITS pen and keychain set. The entire contents of the package was paper-clipped together, creating a very personal feel.

The results of this first-time mailing exceeded even our wildest expectations — raising $71,600 from 26 gifts. The Actors Fund successfully brought in 18 new donors to their In the Spotlight program and upgraded 8 current ITS donors.

The Human Rights Campaign was runner-up in the Multichannel category.
HRC serves as America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve LGBTQ equality. By inspiring and engaging individuals and communities, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBTQ people and realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

While many advocacy groups waited until after the 2016 election to mail their donors, HRC took a bold step in the opposite direction. They decided to mail earlier — ensuring members would receive their renewal package on or near Election Day. The letter explained that regardless of who won the White House, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community faced serious challenges heading into 2017 — making the member’s renewed support critical.

Strong renewal language throughout the package emphasized the call to action. In addition, 0-12 month donors were encouraged to renew by making a monthly gift, while 13-24 month donors were encouraged to renew with a regular donation, and to set that to “automatically renew” the following year. Both strategies were an attempt to take advantage of year-end giving and increase donor retention and value.

A coordinated two-part email campaign supported the effort. And, thanks to the flexibility of digital efforts – the emails were quickly adapted to reflect Donald Trump’s win, playing up the increased threat on LGBTQ rights.

The simple message used across all channels gave HRC members an easy and effective way to defend and protect civil rights.

The bold step paid off! Not only setting an all time revenue record and beating goal by $100,000 but converting 362 monthly donors with annualized income of $225,000.

The prestigious DMFA Package of the Yearaward gives DMFA members the opportunity to show off their best direct mail and email fundraising efforts. Read the complete list of this year’s winners.