« Liminality & Communitas | Main | Make a Mess, Discover Your Life »

December 06, 2008


Erik Deckers


Hello from a fellow Hoosier. It sounds like you did something pretty great with your program. Not only is that an 80% response rate, but an 80% conversion rate. In direct mail terms, this puts you in the realm of direct mail superstars! ;-)

One caution though: the USPS gets very cranky when you put non-mail items in a mailbox, like letters. Or firecrackers. (But that's a whole 'nother story.)

I found your blog through a Google Alert on "direct mail," but I'll be sure to stick around and keep reading.

Erik Deckers
Indianapolis, IN

Doug Nolte

I have found that to get a response, you have to be direct, convienient and demonstrate the need.

For years we have asked the citizens in crime ridden neighborhoods to attend meetings to give them information on what happened, what they can do and protect themselves. We had terrible turnout, unless it was a child that was hurt or killed.

The common thought was that these people did not care enough unless they were affected. So one day I asked my boss, do you attend the meetings in your neighborhood? He quietly said, "no, not unless it is an emergency." I confessed, neither did I.

But we both realized that we were not dealing with disinterested citizens at all. Just busy ones, who had to take kids to church, provide dinner and in many cases were afraid to leave their homes at night.

So, we schemed a new method. Out with the old paradigm, in with a new one. We sent a police car down the neighborhood with lights and siren. Everyone comes out, wanting to know what is going on. We had officers walking the block to tell them we were going to have a meeting in the middle of the street for 10 to 15 minutes.

Those the first meeting we had, 18 people showed up from 16 out of the 20 homes on the block. Several who were curious and had not answered the door, stopped by to see why all their neighbors were out.

We accomplished in 15 minutes what we could never accomplish in an hour, with better attendence. The officers loved it too!

My point is in all this? We made some false assumptions. We thought people needed time to make arrangements to attend a meeting. We thought people were not interested.

We looked at the issue from another angle, then tried a new approach. It worked. . .

Seems that you have hit another angle on getting your neighborhood involved. In a larger sense, isn't that what the emergent church is doing as well. Jesus delights when we use our talents and gifts the Father has given us. . . That is the fruit of his ministry. He walked on the earth with a different paradigm. If one approach didn't work, he went with another.

Keep it up bro!

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Words make Worlds...

  • "It becomes so clear to me as I grow older that people who change, and keep changing, are the only people who grow up." -Richard Rohr
  • “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
  • "Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be." -John Wooden
  • "Receptivity without confrontation leads to a bland neutrality that serves nobody. Confrontation without receptivity leads to an oppressive aggression which hurts everybody." - Henri Nouwen
  • "Spirituality is not a formula; it is not a test. It is a relationship. Spirituality is not about competency; it is about intimacy. Spirituality is not about perfection; it is about connection. The way of spirituality begins where we are now in the mess of our lives." -Mike Yaconelli
  • "But that doesn’t mean community is easy. For everything in this world tries to pull us away from community, pushes us to choose ourselves over others, to choose independence over interdependence, to choose great things over small things, to choose going fast alone over going far together." -Shane Claiborne
  • "Nothing that we despise in the other man is entirely absent from ourselves. We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or don’t do, and more in light of what they suffer." Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create." Albert Einstein
  • "Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Howard Thurman
  • "A nation that continues to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." -Dr. Martin Luther King
  • "Our relationship with each other is the criterion the world uses to judge whether our message is truthful--- Christian community is the final apologetic." -Francis Schaefer
  • "It is not allowable to love the Creation according to the purposes one has for it, any more than it is allowable to love one’s neighbor in order to borrow his tools." Wendell Berry
  • "All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers. Each one owes infinitely more to the human race than the particular country in which he was born." -Francois Fenelon
  • "Ministry cannot be about maintenance, but it is about gathering, about embrace, about welcoming home all sorts of and conditions of people; home is a place for mother tongue, of basic soul food, of old stories told and treasured, of being at ease, known by name, belonging without qualifying for membership." -Walter Brueggemann
  • "Many poets are not poets for the same reason that many religious men are not saints: they never succeed in being themselves. They never get round to being the particular poet or particular monk that they are intended to be by God." "In order to become myself I must cease to be what I always thought I wanted to be." -Thomas Merton
  • "God spoke to Balaam through his ass, and God's been speaking through them ever since. So, if God chooses to speak through you don't think to highly of yourself." -Rich Mullins
  • "We must become holy not because we want to feel holy but because Christ must be able to live his life fully in us." Mother Teresa
  • "I am deeply convinced that the Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self." Henri Nouwen


Friends o' mine...


  • Ryan Taylor's Facebook profile
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 01/2007