Direct Mail Cost for your Non-Profit Appeal- Breaking It Down Simply

We proudly serve WNY non-profit organizations with decades of experience in direct mail strategies that aim to provide the best return on investment possible. We understand the local Western New York market. In addition, Marketing Tech is able to produce campaigns to a wider audience nationally. Today on the blog, we wanted to help break down what goes into the costs of a fundraising appeal and the factors that will affect your initial investment. Let’s break it down!

Direct marketing, appeal, and fundraising direct mail most often involve sending letters, postcards, newsletters, and other physical mail to potential customers or donors. The type of piece typically changes depending on the final goals and can be used for promoting an event, service, or a new chapter in your non-profit’s journey. The right mail piece can help to create awareness of your cause, and in doing so help to generate donations from current and potential donors. 

Direct Mail Appeal Fundraising

Direct mail is a creative form of written communication delivered through the postal service to a specifically targeted audience. The appeal letter is one of the most common forms of direct mail fundraising that generates awareness and opportunity for a recipient to make a financial contribution to help your non-profit. 

The appeal letter can be a very affordable and cost-effective form of advertising that can reach the right people to help build relationships and generate donations when thought out and planned properly. Part of ensuring you’re doing it right is planning your budget properly.

USPS Non-Profit Postage Rate

USPS Marketing Mail is offered by the USPS for non-profit organizations to help make things more affordable. When considering the cost difference between USPS First Class Mail and non-profit sent via USPS Marketing Mail, you can save upwards of 60% on cost thanks to these discounts.

You can count on receiving the best postage rate possible by working with a company with years of experience working with the USPS.

The cost to mail an appeal letter through the help of the USPS doesn’t end at the postage rate. You must also consider your design, printing, and mailing services.

Budgeting for Your Appeal Campaign

Determining your cost for a non-profit appeal cost will depend on the size of your audience, and more specifically, how many pieces you plan to send out. Working with a reputable WNY direct mail provider will help determine the size and scope of your audience, and help to strategize who gets what message.

You may want to appeal to everyone on your contact list, but you also may want to provide different insights, messaging, and reasoning for fundraising to different members of your mailing list. Personalization is key to increasing response rates.

Targeting Your Appeal Audience

You’ll want to know as much about your audience as possible when planning your campaign. Consider what motivates them. Consider what touches their hearts and minds. Consider what they truly care most about. This could vary from person to person. Developing a message and design that speaks to these audience needs is paramount to success. You may want to segment your audience into varying buckets and establish varying messages to maximize return.

The ability to personalize your appeal letter is a huge benefit of variable data direct mail. Consider the example that older donors may resonate more with “tradition” or “loyalty,” but younger donors could be more motivated by qualities like “innovation,” or “diversity.”

Consider using real-life examples, stories, and challenges in your message to help generate a response from your recipient that motivates them to donate. 

Timing Your Appeal Campaign

Give yourself enough time to put forth the proper effort to create a campaign you and the rest of your non-profit are truly proud of. Rushing things can create holes in your strategy that can cause you headaches, and also waste your budget quickly. The available turn-around time you have before printing can also impact your printing costs. 

Set goals for your campaign that are SMART, (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, & Time Bound). One of the most beneficial aspects of appeal letter fundraising is the ability to measure your results. You have control over how many letters you send, but you don’t have as much control over how much money is raised. That will depend on the quality of your message and design, which all make an impact on your appeal.

Working with a company that has experience with appeal letter campaigns can help you plan the best time to schedule your appeal.


A Few Ways to Save Cost on Your Direct Mail Appeal

Data is Your Best Friend. By understanding your donor through giving history, interests, and demographics, nonprofits can be more effective. Your collection of data can become one of the biggest tools for the success of future campaigns. 

Variable data printing allows you to personalize or segment your mailing based on name and relevant information. This can increase the chances your letter is opened, digested, and hits home with your recipient. 

Work with a company that is reputable and experienced. Working with a local company that you can reach out to, speak directly with, and have your questions answered goes a long way in the process of direct mail appeals.

Test Test Test. It may seem counterintuitive to test different mailing lists and messages when considering print costs, but by testing different lists, you can find the right ones that maximize return.

Track results. Any direct mail company will work with you to establish methods to track your success. Setting measurable goals through transparent communication with your direct mail provider will make for a more sustainable strategy.

We hope this helps you to better understand what the direct mail appeal process is all about. If you have any questions regarding the potential costs associated with your organization’s appeal letter strategy, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We truly love helping non-profit organizations succeed, and it’s something we are passionate about doing here at Marketing Tech!

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