3 big reasons why some fundraisers should not critique creative

Recently one of our beloved clients critiqued something we thought she should do by saying, “Well if I saw that envelope I’d throw it in the trash!”
Here are 3 big reasons why her reasoning is flawed:

  1. Since she has never done a mailing similar to the one we recommended, she has no experience from which to draw her conclusions.
  2. Since the outreach is aimed at major donors, yet she is NOT a major donor, there is no way her opinion should matter.
  3. Since her personal preferences ultimately will have nothing to do with what will actually happen when 8,000 people receive the envelope, she can’t use them to reliably predict outcomes.

Here at MarketSmart, we know that critiques of creative should be based in reality, drawn from experience, and aligned with an understanding of your target audience. But, in the end, testing is the only way to truly determine what will produce results— not guessing and presuming.
Be careful with your critiques. Remember, you are not your target audience.


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Michael Selissen
6 years ago

Yep, everyone’s a critic, Unfortunately, marketers and creatives — across nonprofits and for-profits alike — deal with this kind of exchange every day. Toss in the objections from legal and it can get downright exasperating. So, what was your response?

6 years ago

I think the best we can do is try to reason with them.

6 years ago

Another short and high-value post. Thanks Greg for your insight. Keep them coming.

6 years ago
Reply to  Brice

Thanks so much Brice!

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