10 Advantages of Direct Mail In Fundraising Campaigns

Taking a direct mail letter out of a nice brown envelope

Did you know that more donors say they would read a direct mail fundraising solicitation over an emailed one?

This is the power of personal and direct contact. And when it comes to fundraising it means more money for your campaign.

If you are having doubts about continuing or starting a direct mail effort, you have come to the right place.

Read on for 10 benefits of keeping those letters and brochures going through the post.

1. Make Donors Feel Special

If you think that direct mail marketing and mail, in general, is a dying business then you’d be mistaken. In fact, it is the rarity of mail that makes it even more special.

Most spam is sent through email today, making physical mail a place where only important things go.

So, when your potential donor gets an envelope, postcard or self-mailer in the mail with their name on it, they are enticed to open it. With email, the message gets lost, ignored, or deleted in many cases before it is even viewed.

A letter seems much more important and even time-sensitive than an email. That is because it takes effort to mail someone a letter, so it seems unique in itself.

2. Gives the Donor Time

Once that package is opened it sits on the kitchen table or gets placed in a basket of brochures and magazines.

So, one of the best direct mail marketing benefits is its longevity. The donor may see the letter or pamphlet later on in the day or a week from the day they receive it. And this may be the time they feel compelled to read it, and each view builds your brand recognition.

This will give them time to soak in the information without being bombarded by more emails insisting on a donation. They won’t feel pressured but rather obligated once they feel the true need to give.

3. Reach More Than One Person

Direct mail for fundraising is an easy way to get the whole family involved in a campaign. You may mail a letter to one person but others will notice the letter and they may also be interested in your charity’s cause.

If the addressee is very interested in the project proposed, they can also easily share the material with friends outside the house. They then become an advocate on your behalf.

It may also be useful to add extra brochures about a certain project for devoted donors in a direct effort for them to share.

4. Track Its Success

When fundraising, direct mail is an easy way to track the success of your campaign. Most recipients of a direct mailer will use an attached form to send in a check or use a credit card.

You can add a tracking number to the form to gather important data. For example, you can see what type of letters are more successful, how long the donation took to be received after mailing, and other specific information.

5. Unlimited Design and Formats

You can also experiment with fundraising tips and tricks like using various sizes of envelopes, color schemes, brochure formats, and wording in your letters.

Get creative, but also keep track of what works well. For example, a postcard may be useful as a reminder or as a follow-up to a larger package.

Also, you want to cater to your donor base. For example, offer a welcome packet to someone who attended an event and was interested in your organization.

6. Find New Donors

Direct mail is also a great way to find new donors. You can introduce them to a cause without being too forward.

However, all mailers don’t have to directly ask for money either. Invite them to come to see the nonprofit in person for a tour. Or direct them to your website to check out upcoming events.

No matter the purpose, letters are a great way to customize intentions for new donors. Do this by forming lists with similar backgrounds. For example, use certain wording for people who attended your gala for the first time versus constituents that have attended often or donated.

7. Cost-effective

When done right, direct mailers can be very cost-effective.  Marketing Tech can help you find the best postage discounts through postal sorting. And when you use a direct mail service like Marketing Tech you can get a package deal that includes design, printing, and mailing all at one low price. This saves you from hiring staff to sort letters and go to the post office for mailing.

Plus, even though you are mailing a lot of letters at once they are always targeted. This means you get higher return rates with up to 2.5% for new donors and up to 8-9% for renewal donors.

8. Targeted Campaigning

As mentioned before, you get a higher return rate because of the targeted nature of the mailing.

You do this by creating categories of current and potential donors. These lists of prospects come from skilled research such as reviewing donors from similar organizations who would be willing to give.

Other lists are generated from event attendees, previous organizational activity, and people with relevant backgrounds in the subject of your nonprofit.

9. Present New Projects and Campaigns

Your website is your go-to for announcing and introducing new projects, but a direct mailer can be more exclusive.

For your devoted donors, a letter telling them about upcoming campaigns is a great way to give them a sneak peek into your nonprofit’s activities.

Donors appreciate this and feel ready to give when they are kept in the loop. They also love to hear about things before the general public.

10. Send Donor Thank You’s

Not all direct mailings need to ask for money. Use letters to personally thank donors as well.

Use mailers to send thank you notes, gifts, and progress reports of the project they helped fund.

This is the perfect way to retain donors for future projects as they see their money in action. Plus, they feel appreciated and recognized by your team.

Direct Mail is Never Out of Style

No matter how digital the world becomes a direct mail campaign always feels like a necessary part of fundraising. It connects your donors to your organization like no other format.

Anatomy of a Fundraising Appeal Mailing

Fundraising appeal mailing infographic

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