Donnée Intelligence

We’re Canada’s leading direct response agency at gathering the ‘donnée’ needed to improve your net revenues. Our ‘Donnée Index’ rigorously tracks direct response success because yes, previous success is an indicator of future performance. No one in Canada has the repository of direct response test results that we have in ‘The Winning Test’. Not to mention the wealth of analytical data and industry benchmarks we’ve gathered in our dozens of Strategic Data Reviews.

If it's direct response thought leadership you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.

Donnée Index

Unlike other ‘creative’ endeavors, originality doesn’t always work in direct response work. The beauty of data-driven fundraising is that there are time-tested best practices bound to deliver superior results. The Donnée Index captures what’s happening today in Canada’s direct response world. We’ll help you spot trends that may lift your own results. Reinvent the wheel at your peril!


The leaves are changing colour, seasonal baking has the taste of pumpkin and the weather is getting colder. And while we see these transitions in the season we also see the number of direct mail packages received in September increase.

Previous year’s data has shown that these packages presence tends to rise during the fall season right before the holidays. So we weren’t surprised when we saw a 30% increase of packages in our mailbox, with over 55% of these being House campaigns. However, we were amazed to see how majority of the packages were Non-Premium with more than 90% of these being message-based appeals.

Almost 50% of the Premium packages we did receive featured holiday cards. Last month we noticed a higher volume of 2015 calendars and other premium holiday packages including items like pens, labels, and totebags. The majority of the Premium packages received came in bigger and more colorful outer envelopes. 

Online, we saw that a significant percentage of e-solicitations displayed a fall message or ask related to Thanksgiving. For the second consecutive month newsletters accounted for more than 50% of the e-solicitations. There was also a 20% increase in the number of emails we received promoting events that will be held before the end of the year.


Test of the Month

Earlier this spring we tested a new letter format in our renewal series for a large national health charity. The control package contained a #10 window OE, 2-page letter coupon and BRE. The test contained the same OE, and same letter content with an additional side panel that was added to the letter coupon format.

This side panel folded over the front letter and contained a single giving story on one side and monthly giving story on the other corresponding to the single and monthly giving asks on the front and reverse of the reply coupon. The purpose of the test was to the increase number of donors who sign up for monthly giving.

The results: this test panel had the lowest number of new monthly donor sign ups. Although not statistically significant this demonstrated despite our best efforts and general market beliefs, it is difficult to influence and change donor giving habits. Overall the inclusion of the panel did increase single giving, showing a lift of 11.53% in gross revenue per name, a 3.17% increase in response rate and an 8% increase in average gift. 

Canada Post Rate Increase

The Canada Post rate increases for 2015 have been announced, and will take effect on January 12, 2015.
What do you need to know?
  • Machineable Addressed Admail rates will be increasing by $0.02 per piece, to $0.45.
  • "Special Handling" Addressed Admail, (Formerly called "Letter Carrier Presort"), will also be increasing by $0.02 per piece, to $0.50.
  • As of January 2015, the "Presort Machineable" option will no longer be available.
  • The price of stamps is remaining unchanged in 2015.
Fortunately for our sector, Canada Post is expanding the criteria for machineability, meaning fewer of your packages will need letter-carrier presort (LCP) codes.

Some of the changes include:
  • The elimination of non-address "quiet zones".
  • The expansion of approved fonts for the address block.
  • No limits on the number or placement of windows, or window construction.
  • Strength, paper type, and firmness requirements have been eliminated.
  • Address format, content, and skew restrictions have been eliminated.
These changes mean that despite the $0.02 increase, you may be able to realize overall postage savings over 2014 if your mailings had previously required LCP sort codes. 

Thought Leadership

The Winning Test

Want to learn what works best in Canadian charity direct response marketing? Who wouldn't? As a learning organization, The Donnée Group had created Canada’s most extensive database of direct response test results. Contact us to learn more.

Campaign Spy

A single repository of direct mail and ‘e-campaigns’ from not-for-profit organizations across Canada? Is this true? It is indeed. For years, The Donnée Group has maintained a comprehensive ‘library’ of direct response samples from the Canadian not-for-profit sector. And now, we’ve brought these samples to you. Contact us to learn more.


Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down

Canadian direct response donors gave a positive 'Thumbs Up' to 32% of 57 Canadian charities. That also means these donors did not give a Thumbs Up to 68% of these same organizations. While we don't always like to talk about it, the charitable sector is a competitive marketplace. This is particularly true in direct response fundraising where dozens of charities and causes may be targeting your donors. So how do direct response donors feel about your organization vis-à-vis your competition? Have you ever asked? We have. And the results are illuminating and not always what one might expect. Contact us to learn more.

Sample Size Calculator

Chapters in Statistics textbooks are written on the question of statistical significance. Suffice to say if your test 'cells' are not large enough, your test results will be statistically meaningless.

So do you want the easy way or the mathematical way of calculating statistical significance?

The easy way says that your test results should generate a minimum of 100 responses. Or some say 200 responses. Obviously the larger the number the stronger the test result. For example, if you're expecting a 2% response rate from a Prospect campaign test, you'll need to contact 10,000 records for 200 responses, 5,000 records for 100 responses.

Here’s a tool that will help you ensure your test cells are statistically significant:
1. What is your expected response rate (%):
2. What is your "acceptable limit of error"?: (We recommend 10% of the response rate)
3. What is your preferred confidence level? (We recommend 95%)
    Recommended sample size: