by Amy Ambrose, Mail Works II

Message, Tin Can, CommunicateIn today’s world, we have an abundance of vehicles to carry our message. We can be specific in targeting various audiences with messages that are relevant to them – which when done properly does wonders for increasing efficacy and ROI. Unfortunately, if not well thought out and planned our messages can create a mess. Inconsistency across platforms, and too frequent or infrequent messaging weakens your message and ultimately insights distrust. It’s not a wise use of our limited resources.

Think about your own life, if you have a person or organization that is bombarding you with mixed messages, it’s hard to absorb all the different messages and know which one to believe. In a world of message overload, it’s the consistent and steady messages that are recalled and trusted. And if you follow the Rule of Seven: a person needs to hear your message at least 7 times before they act, it’s even more important for your message to be consistent and coordinated.

In my current role as nonprofit specialist at a direct mail firm, I have the pleasure of working with churches and nonprofits across the country. As one can imagine, these organizations are on a very limited budget, so the first response in helping to develop direct mail is to dig into their message and make sure it’s consistent over the various platforms and that it’s consumer focused. Often for church mailers a simple message of “You Belong” or “You Matter” resonates with individuals in their community. This message is the foundation from which to build the case, if you will on, why to attend this particular church. There are many aspects to an organization that need to be communicated and sometimes, to specific target groups. However, if it’s not built on a foundational message with consistency, it will crumble. It’s this foundational message that people build trust and ultimately relationship with.

  • You Belong – come hear the truth in the Word of God and how You Belong to Him
  • You Belong – and so do your children, we have a safe, fun children’s ministry
  • You Belong – everyone is welcomed, we have an inviting and casual atmosphere
  • You Belong – we offer multiple services to meet your schedule

Do you get the message? Or do you feel like you’re in a mess?

Keep it consistent and take it on the road. It’s a graphic stamp on a postcard or envelope; a banner consistently in a post; or on T-shirts for staff and volunteers. There’s numerous inexpensive ways to reach people with your message. Let it be your means for action, and not a mess for them to try to figure out.


Amy Ambrose is a Nonprofit Specialist at Mail Works II in Toledo, Ohio. She has over 20 years of experience in marketing communications and fundraising for nonprofit organizations.