The experts at Pel Hughes were thrilled to contribute graphic design and non-profit marketing insight to Lincoln University’s recent fundraising campaign for Giving Tuesday. Lincoln University is a premier liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. As the first historically Black institution to grant degrees, Lincoln University has earned a reputation for excellence since its founding in 1854. Like other higher education institutions, Lincoln University relies on fundraising to give current and prospective students access to life-changing opportunities. The school’s participation in Giving Tuesday—a global philanthropic initiative that occurs every Tuesday after Thanksgiving—was an inspiring success.

Fundraising and Non-Profit Marketing

Raising funds is the lifeblood of any non-profit organization. Every successful fundraiser involves announcing a campaign well before the funds trickle in. In the case of a university, alumni, staff, and community members benefit from ample notice. To accomplish this, the pros at Pel Hughes produced beautiful graphic design pieces for Lincoln U’s social media, website, and fundraising web pages.

Below are some examples of non-profit marketing images our team designed.

These types of images are perfect for e-mail campaigns, social media announcements, websites, and even direct mail pieces. In addition to professionally designed images, copy should concisely reflect the need for donations as well as simple instructions for how recipients can contribute. The entire process should be as easy as possible to incentivize donors.

Lincoln University’s Results

Pel Hughes is pleased to announce that Lincoln University’s Giving Tuesday fundraiser was a heartwarming display of generosity and charity. The university received over $24,000 in donations from 161 contributors in a 24-hour timeframe. One aspect of this fundraiser that was unique was that donors could select where their funds went such as specific programs, the library, clubs, or athletic teams.

Ring in the New Year with a Great Non-Profit Marketing Plan

With a new year upon us, now is a great time to evaluate (and improve) your non-profit marketing efforts—especially when it comes to announcing fundraisers and donor events. The pros at Pel Hughes can help. We offer a host of non-profit marketing services including graphic design, database services, direct mail campaigns, promotional products and apparel, and e-mail marketing. We also have helpful non-profit marketing resources on our blog to inspire you.

Pel Hughes is a woman-owned enterprise and full-service printing company. We pair cutting-edge technology with old fashioned, client-centered service. If you’re interested in boosting the visibility of your non-profit, give our helpful experts a call at (504) 486-8646.

How can you get a 32% response rate?

We did! For our 2017 Holiday Campaign, we decided to make it extra interactive. We conceived a highly organized and personalized (and FUN) campaign to stand out from the generic campaigns that tend to go out during the holidays.

To accomplish this, our design team created goofy caricatures of our reps to send out on our holiday cards. On the back of those cards were personalized URLs (PURLs) for each person to go to, confirm their delivery information and customize their cookies!

Our goal was a 15% response rate.

When we consult with our customers with their marketing campaigns, we feel it’s imperative to state the objectives and goals for each campaign.  For this one, it wasn’t too complicated.  We wanted to show customer appreciation for their trust and confidence in us while demonstrating our capabilities.


Here are our Account Managers’ gingerbread people:

pel hughes holiday card concept

Here are samples of the PURL pages:

pel hughes purl pages


It was critical for customers to confirm their delivery information because we had to deliver their personalized gifts. After the user confirmed their delivery address and filled out the rest of the form, we gathered the information and did 3 shipments/deliveries of cookies. As with all campaigns, timing is crucial.

We set a deadline for our customer’s to fill out the form so they would receive cookies before Christmas!


Here are cookies and the boxes they came in:

pel hughes cookie boxes


So, which color “won” the cookie color contest? Drumroll please…

pel hughes graph


It’s PINK for the win!


Our color choices say something about us and can give insight to savvy marketers who can incorporate this insight into future marketing efforts.

Studies show that certain colors trigger emotions in all of us so for instance our pink choice signifies caring, compassion, and love so we now know that the majority of our respondents are very compassionate folks (but we already knew that!) so our marketing efforts should reflect those traits so it can be appealing to our target audience.


We had over 330 replies, most coming in the first few days of the mailing. And then a larger second wave coming in when we sent our follow-up email:

pel hughes graph2


What did we learn? How do YOU get a 32.5% response rate?


  • Make it engaging. There’s no point in delivering or shipping cookies to your favorite customers if you don’t have their attention. If they have to work for it, you know you’ve got their eye.
  • Have fun with it and make it personal. Please take note that we designed these gingerbread caricatures based on our account managers’ tastes and hobbies. You have to hope that our customers learned a bit more about each rep, or they got a good laugh out of it. With database marketing, personalization is key to getting the response you desire.
  • Mail EARLY. Execution and timing are key with any campaign. We mailed these cards on November 29th. So that means we were probably some of the first holiday cards to hit these folks’ mailboxes. Meaning they hadn’t been inundated with sweets yet either!
  • Mail to a clean list. We didn’t get one piece of return mail from this mailing because we sent the requests for lists to our reps on November 1st with a due date of November 17th! Now, we know that’s early, but because we got clean lists a full 6 weeks before Christmas, we were able to really hit the people we wanted to get in front of.
  • This can work any time of year. Make it around any holiday. Cinco de Mayo, National Talk Like a Pirate Day…whatever floats your boat!


Each of these best practices make your marketing dollars go further and make your campaign more successful. Curious about how to get a campaign like this started for your company? Email us today at and we’ll set you up with one of those goofy Account Managers you saw above.


The deregulation of electricity and natural gas markets has created opportunities for retail energy suppliers to find and win new customers in very competitive markets.  Pel Hughes’ experience helping our service provider clients in many of the 17 states with deregulated electricity and some of the 22 states with at least a partial deregulation of gas service has given us a broad perspective on what works best to generate new customers and retain existing ones.

This case study focuses on best practices of a deregulated electricity service provider in one of these markets to effectively use direct mail to generate customer calls and PURL web visits (personalized URL landing pages) to self-enroll for service. Pel Hughes developed the predictive model in order to acquire targeted mail lists of the households most likely to respond to the campaign offers. Pel Hughes was not privy to the internal data for determining net enrollments.

Sourcing Pel Hughes to be responsible for contributing to the strategic planning & analysis, data & data analytics, print & mailing production services and real time reporting resulted in the production cost per response dropping from $61 before predictive modeling to $38 after predictive modeling.



Before working with Pel Hughes, our client was experiencing challenges both large and small in their marketing efforts with previous direct marketing suppliers that understood production but didn’t know how to produce and execute a data driven campaign. Other internal issues were the lack of marketing data expertise and access to IT staff/systems. The lack of lead tracking from their direct marketing efforts kept them from accurately reporting metrics. Their frustration led to a meeting with USPS Business Development Representatives who in turn recommended consulting with Pel Hughes.

Our initial consultation with this large energy supplier allowed us to understand their current marketing efforts. After Pel Hughes explained how successful direct marketing programs are designed, produced and reported, the client engaged Pel Hughes to execute a customer acquisition campaign.



One of the major improvements discussed was the importance of using data by developing a predictive model of the households most likely to respond to the offer; but because of the expedited schedule the client did not have time for Pel Hughes to develop a predictive model to target this initial campaign. The client requested a standard data list of credit-scored homeowners for Campaign 1 while Pel Hughes developed the predictive model for Campaign 2. A 3-way split was used to test for best offer and results showed minor differences. The quantity mailed for this initial campaign was 705,488.



All responses were tracked by the Pel Hughes Campaign Dashboard including the 3-way split to test the offer. The mailing was a classic direct mail package of personalized letters; response lift notes inserted into full color #10 window envelopes with presort standard postage.

The shelf life of direct mail is often overlooked with responses still coming in 2-3 months after the last piece of mail was delivered in home. A satisfactory response of 3,937 inbound prospect calls to the client’s call center and 1,089 PURL hits for a total of 5,026 responses were recorded at a cost per response of $61.



The same basic program used in Campaign 1 was used for Campaign 2. The only significant difference was that the mail data was produced through a predictive model instead of the simple credit-scored homeowner list data used in Campaign 1. The quantity mailed for this second campaign was 999,252.

The predictive model used was a very sophisticated algorithm that uses thousands of consumer data points and was based on comparing the attributes of “Responders” vs. “Non-Responders” from client’s previous mailings. Data is then pulled from the list of prospects most likely to respond to future mailings.



Responses got a 100% lift to 10,539 inbound prospect calls to the client’s call center and 1,147 PURL hits for a total of 11,686 responses at a cost of response of $38.34.







Direct mail is still one of the most cost effective way to generate sales in deregulated energy markets with a proven cost of response of as little as $38 using the combination of predictive modeling, a decent offer and a historically powerful format. Direct mail has reach to 98% of U.S. households, is the media preference of 76% of U.S. households and a shelf life that extends months after the mail is delivered.

Other direct marketing strategies deployed by Pel Hughes to strengthen direct marketing campaigns include IP Targeted display ads, email/SMS, PURLs/GURLs, and image personalization.

New Mover/Birthday Acquisition Campaign


A franchise restaurant group was looking to increase sales in two of their markets that were under-performing. They were looking to expand their customer base as well as respond to some changes in each of the markets. Pel Hughes worked with them to implement a direct marketing acquisition program. One of the main goals was to implement a strategy that took little management from the client, so it had to be extremely automated and efficient.


Working closely with our client and their agency, we developed an automated, targeted campaign to potential customers with a birthday or potential customers that just moved into a radius around the location.




Total sales more than doubled the combined cost of the marketing and comp values. Because of this success the restaurant group is looking to expand this program into their other markets.

Intelligent Direct Mail Printing and Mailing Deliver the Right Message, to the Right Person,  at the Right Time



Political campaign managers (like all marketing managers) have found that it is getting increasingly difficult to break through the traditional direct mail advertising clutter to make a favorable impression on their customer, prospect or voter. Generic messages cannot wield the emotional power that targeted messaging incites within a particular voter.



Targeted Message Direct Mail, delivered using digital production delivers the right message to the right voter at the right time. Voter segments are very diversified and will respond more favorably when their “hot button issue” is addressed; voters feel as if the candidate is talking directly to them to reinforce the message. Phone polls, field surveys, PURLS (Personal URL Response Web Pages) or any other two-way media can be employed to create a profile of an individual voter.



Senator David Vitter’s re-election campaign conducted phone polling to segment likely voters into five hot button issues: immigration, abortion, oil drilling, moratorium, healthcare, and out of control spending. Five unique messages with a unified ard and copy look were developed and five mail databases prepared and sent to Pel Hughes, who then created one job digitally printed and addressed to each voter with the segmented message that they wanted to see.



Paul Stackpole

Direct 504.620.9610

Mobile 504.239.9336

New Orleans-based Pel Hughes is a printing and marketing services provider that delivers relevant marketing solutions to an array of clients – ranging from individual customers, to casinos, businesses, banks, schools and more.


Pel Hughes recognized many marketing departments today fail to track conversions generated from voice interactions, creating a significant blind spot around the true success or failure of individual marketing campaigns. Companies engaged in direct mail campaigns, in particular, often send out thousands of mailers with a phone number call-to-action – yet don’t track the actual volume, quality and conversion rates associated with those phone leads. Pel Hughes wanted to extend their metrics-driven consultative approach to include phone call conversion measurement, offering their clients a more comprehensive understanding of their marketing campaign ROI.

Business Solution

Pel Hughes looked to Ifbyphone for an easy-to-implement, cost effective call tracking solution that would enable clients to measure voice interactions for the first time.

Leveraging Ifbyphone call tracking, which Pel Hughes Senior Account Executive, Paul Stackpole, considers “invaluable,” customers are shown a full reporting suite that displays how many phone calls each marketing campaign generated. A full dashboard also showcases the volume of call-based conversions.


Pel Hughes’ clients now have a more comprehensive understanding of ROI figures, enabling them to efficiently allocate marketing dollars to the campaigns and materials that are actually driving leads.

For instance, a leading Texas-based utilities company that engaged Pel Hughes experienced a 100% jump in response rate for a 500,000-piece monthly direct mail campaign. In tracking the voice interactions that resulted from these mailers, Pel Hughes helped the utilities company better optimize the campaigns.

“Once we started using Ifbyphone, we were able to deliver all-inclusive tracking and give our clients the capability to more comprehensively understand marketing campaign ROI,” said Stackpole. “Call tracking has really opened our eyes and helped us close a big loop in providing marketing optimization tactics in a multi-channel manner.”

Since engaging Ifbyphone and receiving so much positive feedback from clients, Pel Hughes has integrated call tracking into every campaign across their suite of offerings. Going forward, the company plans to continue leveraging Ifbyphone call tracking to provide customers with actionable feedback on campaign success.

Reinvent the direct mail package for a restaurant.
N’Tini’s wanted to send consumers a personalized, vibrantly designed mail piece rather than their old preprinted postcard with black imprint. Previously, the client outsourced data collection, data management and mail execution. They wanted a portal to be able to manage their own data and execute campaigns at a fraction of current costs.

Provide access to an online system for complete control over marketing materials.
Pel Hughes was able to develop an online portal that would give N’Tini’s the ability to edit and update the monthly events and specials themselves, as well as allow them to execute mail campaigns at their leisure.

Increased sales, reduced costs and a thoroughly satisfied client.
When using the Pel Hughes system customized for N’Tini’s, they enjoyed a 30% jump in sales during the first three months of the partnership and reduced their marketing expenses 67% from their previous campaign. The client also expressed gratitude for the system’s amenities, ease of use and efficiency.
1) Reinvent direct mail package.
2) Provide access to online system.
3) Increase sales, reduce costs.