5 Tips for Getting Internal Feedback that Doesn’t Make You Scream

Picture this:

You create a high impact direct mail fundraising piece. You have a strong fundraising offer. You write using a structure that is proven to work. You use simple language that is easy to understand.

Now it’s time to…


…get internal feedback and approval so you can send your mailing to donors.

(cue: terrified scream…..!!!!!)

Here are five tips to help make this process easier so you get feedback that DOESN’T make you scream.

  1. Keep your feedback list small. Who absolutely MUST see the mailing before it can go out? Keep that list to one or two people, including the letter signer. If your list is more than two, have a conversation with your boss and see who you can gently release from this process. When people at your organization give feedback without understanding direct mail fundraising, you end up with a less effective mailing.
  2. Ask for “feedback” rather than “edits.” When you ask for “feedback” you leave room for YOU to use your training and discretion to make a change or not. When you ask for “edits” you may give the impression that you will make the changes… all the changes… that are sent your way. Cue the screaming.
  3. Give context before asking for feedback. When you ask for feedback from someone who is not trained in fundraising, they may inadvertently remove the things that make the piece effective. Give them a heads up about the important parts of the piece that need to stay the same for the piece to raise money. (cough – hands off the first four paragraphs and the P.S.!)
  4. Be specific what feedback you are asking for. When you ask for general feedback, you will get a range of opinions that are not helpful. Ask specifically for what you want. Factual corrections? Design input? Grammatical proofing? Final approval from the signer? Ask for what you want specifically from each person on your feedback list, and you will filter out some of the opinions that don’t help get the job done.
  5. Give them a due date… and build in some cushion time. Make sure your mailing doesn’t get derailed because it’s sitting on a pile somewhere. Be clear about the due date, and follow up to make sure you get the feedback when you need it.

Getting internal feedback can be a frustrating process, but it doesn’t have to be. These five tips will help you get the feedback you need without wanting to scream. Give it a try and let me know how it goes by commenting on this post!