Much has been written about premium and non premium donors, mostly by people who love them, or by people who hate them. The bottom line can be summed up by:
Against: Many people just don't like them - a personal view, shared by a couple of mentors including Uncle Ken Burnett. This is like many people just don't like face to face. They argue:
* Average premium donors are not as loyal as non-premium
* They need to be sent premium appeals to give again
Others love them arguing that
* Response rates are huge
* Loyalty is almost by the by - if they only respond to premiums, then send them premiums!
Both sides are kind of right really, but are not mutually exclusive. For me it comes down to looking into the data.
The solicitation pack, and whether it had a premium in it is only one variable we can use for analysis. There are lots more variables - such as amount donated, list source, use of credit card, cheque or even cash and age of donor.
What we see is that premium mailings tend to acquire many, many more donors than non premiums. Our tests have revealed considerable response rate differences: