Industry & OBH News

OBH Client Feature | Jonathan Krause

The Power of Print

“When it comes to saving lives you don’t fluff around. In times of disaster and aid relief, the best in the business turn to print to raise money fast.” Jonathan Krause

Working with print since 1986, Jonathan Krause started his career writing 50 poems per week for greeting cards. This was where he first experimented with marketing. Starting with abstract poetry Jonathan tells us he quickly learnt to adapt to what the market wanted and not what he thought was a great piece of prose. “Greeting cards rely on two key aspects; the power of image to attract the person to pick it up and the power of words to express their emotions, both working harmoniously”.

Since then he has had an impressive career working in marketing and print communications. His introduction to not-for-profit work was with World Vision in 1989. Jonathan has since worked on 850 direct mail campaigns for 60 different charities across 10 countries. Currently he works with Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS), Salvation Army, RSPCA, Guide Dogs NSW and a variety of UK based hospices.

With a degree in Fiction & Sociology, Jonathan has also published 8 books, all of which are motivational life stories, selling between 6000 and 8000 copies of each title. His latest book, Come to Life tells “little stories about big things”.

So why does Jonathan rate print so highly when he is communicating? “Print is the bedrock of communications. Only ten percent of our donations come via our websites and even then it is the direct mail postage piece that stimulated that action. Print interrupts daily life and commands attention. Tangible print pieces can be creative and innovative. They create cut-through and can be extraordinary.” Jonathan recalls one of his early campaigns using print to raise donations, growing the response from five to 12 percent and later up to 35 percent utilising innovation in print, such as mailing a jigsaw to recipients.

“Now with hyper-personalisation we can really connect with our donors and send materials tailored to their interests. Print allows us to make the donors feel valued. The effect is cumulative. It creates life-time donors and triggers a response, where email only generates a tenth of that response.” Jonathan has a magic number for print communications, “We send 8 mail pieces per year to each recipient. Multiple tangible touch points help to consolidate the relationship otherwise they forget about you and start connecting with someone else.”

Jonathan’s advice to marketers and designers is to use print to “Surprise, innovate and inspire. In fundraising we need to be unafraid to confront people during the pursuit to motivate donations. Also be clear on your objectives. Know your audiences and make a connection. Some communications are suitable for electronic distribution but they are readily deleted and forgotten the next day. A mail piece will be looked at and kept for several days and beyond. It creates more engagement.” Jonathan is very clear on the objective for his communications and the audience he is connecting with. His design direction is specific and unapologetic. “For example I would never use a reversed out Sans Serif font for my audience.” as he points to the pages of our last publication of Hue, “Audiences over 45 struggle to read the text. It looks beautiful but my message is too important to be missed.”

Recently Jonathan has experimented by introducing a C4 direct mail campaign for those with a history of significant donations. The majority of the campaigns are sent as DLX pieces as the postage is more economical. The results show that people respond to the perceived increased value of the materials they receive. In short, increasing the size and quality of the materials has increased the funds

Augmented Reality has also been used by Jonathan in two campaigns. A sample of this can be found within our Hue magazine (ask us for a copy). This technology allows Jonathan to provide video in order to create an emotive connection. With the inclusion of links to find more information or donate immediately, it marries the best of print and electronic communication efficiently and allows for statistical tracking.

With print being so important to these endeavours, Jonathan’s advice to the print industry is to be innovative and flexible. To bend with the changing needs of hyper-personalisation. You can find out more about Jonathan’s direct mail strategies and the campaigns we help him to develop by watching the video embedded in this article.
Jonathan’s parting words on the power of print? “The results speak for themselves!”

Sarah Leo // General Manager – Brand, Strategy & People


C4 – Envelope size which is slightly larger than an A4 page.
DLX – Standard envelope size which comfortably accommodates a return envelope and A4 sheets folded into thirds.
Augmented Reality – Technology which uses an app to scan an image using a smart device (phone or tablet) to connect electronic content with the page. This can include video, animation, photo carousels and links to email, website or social media pages.

Subscribe to our enewsletter

Receive updates on our latest offers, hot topics and industry snapshots