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Top 10 Tips for Improving your Acquisition Program

Author: Sue Wong Date: 04/10/2019


It’s the beginning of spring and the perfect time to start something new! Whether it’s learning to swim, ride a bike, or play an instrument, this is a great time to pick a new hobby or perhaps improve on an existing skill. Here at NFL we think it’s never too late to refresh, renew, and refine your acquisition program.


Here are 10 tips from our team at NFL to improve YOUR acquisition programs –


1. Find a knowledgeable list broker:

Your list broker should understand and be curious about your acquisition goals! At NFL, we specialize in getting to know your organization and its immediate and future needs so that your program succeeds!


2. Selecting the right demographic:

The more you know your audiences, the better the lists selections. Studying the demographics of your house file is a great starting point for determining who and where to target during your prospecting.


3. Keep it cost effective:

Negotiate ALL costs, from select fees to email fees. Ask for net name arrangements and ask about special promotions on new test lists. 


4. Review Cost to Acquire (CTA):

The lower the cost, the less it takes to acquire a donor.  Don’t over-focus on past results since lists refresh and update new names constantly.



Lists are not one-size-fits-all, so we recommend testing many different types of lists to get a different read.


6. Join a Co-Op:

Co-ops are databases from many different organizations that help you find new donors to respond to your acquisition.  Join as many co-ops as you can! Test head-to-head to get best results.


7. Test Deeper into Models:

Deeper levels of the segments may perform better.  After continuous usage of top- tiered segments, they can fatigue, and the deeper segments can end up performing better.


8. Ask String Test:

Depending on how much your donor donates, performing an ask string test can help drive up the average gift.  Knowing your demographics are important before testing a new ask string because it can determine how your donors will respond.


9. Package Strategies:

Typically, mailing different control packages can increase response rates.  When sending multi names in your mailing, test an alternate package.


10. Merge/Purge:

You do not need to prioritize or rank the outside lists.  Random prioritization gives each list a fair chance to perform in a mailing.  By prioritizing exchange files first or co-op files last, you are inadvertently skewing your results.


Again, it is never too late to learn how to refine your acquisition program. Contact Diane Hardy, VP of List Services, to learn more!