DIRECT MAIL FUNDRAISING

Top 6 ways to boost your direct mail campaigns though digital fundraising.

Create an impactful direct mail campaign by leveraging multi-channel, or omni-channel digital fundraising methods to enhance donor communications and boost donations.

The most successful direct mail drives people to make digital donations; however, a poor online experience can decrease giving!

We can provide best practices, expert advice and examples of how your nonprofit organization can raise more money and engage your donor base.

If you are ready to see how the MobileCause fundraising platform works with direct mail click the request demo button below.

direct mail fundraising

Click here or text HEART to 51555 see how the platform works with direct mail

FREE BONUS: Download our direct mail infographic as a PDF. Easily save it on your computer for quick reference or print it for your nonprofit organization’s next event meeting. Includes actionable tips on making your next direct mail campaign your best one yet!

Direct mail fundraising plays a key role in donor retention; after all, it costs about five times more to acquire one donor than it does to retain one! While today’s fundraising landscape is ever-changing due to innovations in technology such as text-to-donate and online giving, direct mail fundraising is still vital to an organization that desires to raise the most possible money for their cause. Nonprofit organizations can create an impactful direct mail campaign complemented by a multi-channel digital fundraising strategy to enhance the donor experience and boost donations.

Direct mail works best when it is integrated with digital channels because it gives advocates more ways to engage, donate, promote and support the organization. When a supporter or potential advocate receives a direct mail piece, a real-life connection is made between that person and the organization.

As nonprofits continue to figure out how to take their traditional direct mail campaigns and integrate digital fundraising channels, we’re here to help. Here are tips on how to get started with digitizing your direct mail efforts to boost donations. Let’s get started!

Your goal is to raise more money for your organization – and donors who believe in and support your cause want to help you achieve this goal. So, that’s why it’s essential to make it easy for them to give at any time, on any device. Donors are three times more likely to give online in response to a direct mail appeal than an e-appeal.

BONUS TIP: Make landing pages mobile-responsive so that people can make frictionless donations with a debit card/credit card with minimal taps or clicks from a PC, tablet or smartphone.

Direct Mail Fundraising Campaign Types

There are two types of direct mail campaigns for nonprofits: housefile and prospecting campaigns. Although both are effective, they are distinctly different. These techniques are used for different reasons and return different results. It is recommended to begin with housefile campaigns and branch out to prospecting campaigns when excess funds and time are available.

Housefile Campaigns:

This campaign type runs by sending mail to those already in your donor database. These people have made a gift, volunteered or expressed interest in your organization. Because these people are familiar with your organization, they are much more likely to give or engage. Even if no action is taken by the advocate, it acts simply as a reminder that your organization could use help!

Go Digital:: Add in how to incorporate digital fundraising as a complement to housefile campaigns. Maybe email, social media and text updates

Prospecting Campaigns:

This campaign type runs by sending mail to a cold list of people with no connection to your organization. These people may or may not be familiar with your cause. Generally the goal of a prospecting campaign is increase general awareness for your organization. These lists are bought or rented for use and when a person acts upon the mailing, they become part of the housefile.

Go Digital: Add in how to incorporate digital fundraising as a complement to prospecting campaigns. Maybe links to a mobile friendly website (donation form), videos, social media and text updates, survey.

Both of these campaigns help support each other. Prospecting helps grow the housefile campaign, while housefiling supports the prospecting campaign financially. It can take a bit of time to begin seeing large returns on direct mail; but, large returns from direct mail are very possible for any organization!

Your goal is to raise more money for your organization – and donors who believe in and support your cause want to help you achieve this goal. So, that’s why it’s essential to make it easy for them to give at any time, on any device. Donors are three times more likely to give online in response to a direct mail appeal than an e-appeal.

BONUS TIP: Be careful when sending prospecting direct mail. Unsolicited mail that bothers people is very detrimental to your nonprofit.

Top 6 ways to boost your direct mail campaigns through digital fundraising

%

Of donors are more likely to respond to direct mail when they receive multiple messages across fundraising channels reinforcing the call-to- action

1

MAKE IT EASY TO GO ONLINE
AND GIVE ON ANY DEVICE

If you don’t have a good online experience, then you are losing donations from all ages of donors. You need to make it easy to give on any device because it will increase giving for your organization for years to come.

%

of website traffic is now on a mobile device

%

of nonprofits require 3 or more clicks to make a gift

%

of donation pages are not mobile-friendly

%

of nonprofits do not offer social sharing

Your goal is to raise more money for your organization – and donors who believe in and support your cause want to help you achieve this goal. So, that’s why it’s essential to make it easy for them to give at any time, on any device. Donors are three times more likely to give online in response to a direct mail appeal than an e-appeal.

BONUS TIP: Make landing pages mobile-responsive so that people can make frictionless donations with a debit card/credit card with minimal taps or clicks from a PC, tablet or smartphone.

2

PROMOTE YOUR DIRECT MAIL CAMPAIGNS
ACROSS MULTIPLE ONLINE CHANNELS

In order to expand your donor reach and improve your ROI, you need to promote your direct mail campaigns online as well.

  • Social Media
  • Email
  • Web
  • Text
  • Crowdfunding

3x

Donors are three times more likely to give online in response to a direct mail appeal than an e-appeal.

Return on Investment (ROI) is profit divided by cost of the campaign and is a key indicator of a fundraising campaign’s success; after all, you need to bring in much more than you spend in order to support your cause. The best way to do this is by modifying the creative assets for your most successful direct mail campaigns and tailor them specific to the platform you’ll be using such as: video for Facebook, a precise and unique call-to-action for email, imagery for Twitter and Instagram and compelling ads through Google’s free AdWords grants for nonprofits.

Online giving by the numbers in response to direct mail:

%

Millennials age 21-35 give online and prefer text reminders

%

Gen X Donors age 36-50 give online and prefer email reminders

%

Boomers age 51-65 give online and prefer call reminders

%

Greatest Donors age 66+

Everyone is different, meaning they like to give and respond to communications in different ways. Due to this, donors are 50% more likely to respond to direct mail when they receive multiple messages across fundraising channels reinforcing the call-to-action. Effective direct mail fundraising campaigns showcase a compelling story with a clear call-to-action by telling donors what they are giving to, and making it easy for people to give.

Make sure you personalize your message based on your target audience – i.e., your social media donor demographic may be different than your email donor demographic, so make sure you’re using the right message to capture their attention in the right way.

BONUS TIPS:

The post office gives a 2% discount for envelopes that contain mobile donation instructions.

On top of using a strong call-to-action, lead donors to select a specific amount to give, makes them feel more confident in their decision to donate.

One size fits all communications, actually fits none!

3

INTEGRATE DIRECT MAIL
WITH DIGITAL

DIRECT MAIL

35% of donors say they prefer to respond to direct mail by giving online or via mobile devices

50% more donors respond to direct mail when receiving the same call-to-action across multiple channels

SOCIAL MEDIA

73% of smartphone users use social media daily

47% of supporters learn about nonprofits from social media

59% of donors use online donation forms to donate

IN-PERSON EVENTS

50% of admin time cut with mobile while allowing your org to promote event registration, sell tickets, send alerts and collect donations

35% increase in donations when employing a keyword-enabled fundraising thermometer

EMAIL NEWSLETTERS

60% of emails are read on mobile devices

35% increase in giving with mobile-responsive donation pages

RADIO & TV

{GIVENOW to 51555} Keywords and short codes empower donors to give instantly during mass media fundraisers like telethons and radio pledge drives

35% increase in donations with real-time pledges televised on a live fundraising thermometer

MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS

3.5x more likely to tap a link in a text than click an email link

98% of text messages are read

90% of texts are read within 3 min

BONUS TIP: The post office gives a 2% discount for envelopes that contain mobile donation instructions.

4

KEEP YOUR DONOR DATABASE
UP-TO-DATE

of addresses in nonprofit databases are out-of-date

of Americans change their mailing address each year

Use direct mail to build your database of emails and mobile numbers by asking donors if they would like to have a tax receipt sent to them.

Facts: Donor renewal mail yields a 3.7% response rate. ROI for warm lists is 20 cents for every dollar raised. Donor acquisitions mail yields a 1.0% response rate. ROI for cold lists is $1.00-1.25 for every dollar raised.

BONUS TIP: Save money on donor acquisition mail by collecting contact information via online forms throughout the year.

5

CREATE CAMPAIGN-SPECIFIC
LANDING PAGES FOR DIRECT MAIL

SCAN
to give

TEXT
to give

CLICK
to give

Maximize donations on direct mail landing pages by promoting QR code, short link and keyword across all channels.

38% more donations happen when landing pages are branded to reinforce the intention of the gift.

66% of those same donors are more likely to come back and donate again.

BONUS TIP: Campaign-specific landing pages are effective for A/B testing and enable nonprofits to easily measure views, clicks, conversions, shares and donations. Maximize donations on direct mail landing pages by promoting QR codes, short links and keywords across all channels.

6

ENHANCE YOUR
COMMUNICATION CHANNELS

SEND LETTERS, HANDWRITTEN NOTES, TEXT MESSAGES, EMAIL
AND SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS TO:

Thank your donors

Demonstrate how their donation is creating an impact

Showcase your upcoming campaign

Ask them for their support again – across all channels

Remember the 3-1 rule: Send 3 messages about your organization, the impact it’s making and a new campaign program before asking for money.

For example, if you’re raising money to help protect animal wildlife, use specific donation amounts to tell donors how they help: $100 helps adopt one animal to bring them into protection and save their life. Quantify how previous amounts donated have been used to impact the donation value: Last year, we raised $75,000 which expanded our animal protection efforts outside of the U.S. saving more than 200 animal lives. It is key to inject emotion into your messages to create loyal donors and expand your donor base.

BONUS TIP: 63% of donors want to know how their donation will be used. Create videos, photos and testimonials to communicate your cause’s impact.

Increase engagement with an omni-channel strategy

Omnichannel marketing involves catering channels to certain segments as opposed to multichannel which involves using a uniform message to the widest net of people, captured through all different types of media. The goal of omnichannel is to create a consistent and most importantly an enjoyable experience for the supporter. With this method of marketing, a supporter can start a donation through one channel and finish on another. This allows for the donor to better progress from awareness to advocacy.

Direct Mail Fundraising

Examples of how you can practice omni-channel marketing with direct mail:

1. A nonprofit organization can post on social media or email a list about an event that they are holding. From there, the people that interact with the post or email can be sent direct mail about the specific event that they were interested in. When they receive the mail, they will open it up and read about the event that they had interest in. The supporter will read, ‘Text “KEYWORD” to 91999’ for donations or Text “KEYWORD” to 51555 for event information and updates’. This is just one example of how you can use your direct mail campaign in conjunction with other media to tailor communications to your advocates so that they can support your organization exactly how they want to.

2. A great way to use omnichannel marketing to increase engagement would be to drive supporters to a campaign explanation page with a video. Supporters can be alerted of the ongoing initiative or campaign being run by the nonprofit through social media or email.
 

  • Send supporters to an online donation page (we often recommend crowdfunding to increase reach) that has a video and campaign description.
  • Allow the advocate to learn about the campaign or initiative and how their donation or volunteer help will benefit the cause.
  • Capture donations, but even more important, capture mailing information so that tailored direct mail can be sent, engaging the supporter with the cause that they actually care about!
  • Include any information from a call-to-action for those who have yet to donate or volunteer to a simple thank you to show appreciation.

Direct Mail Campaign Results

According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals, they say it costs:

$1.25 to raise $1 via Direct Mail

$0.25 to raise $1 via Recurring Donors

$0.50 to raise $1 via Events

DID YOU KNOW: For customers raising money through digital fundraising on the MobileCause platform, it only costs $0.08 to raise $1. Click here to find out how.

When implementing best practices in a direct mailing campaign, it is fair to wonder what results your organization will get. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) found two main areas that a successful direct mail will improve significantly:

  • Bringing back past donors – Nearly all nonprofits know the importance of retaining donors, but few know how direct mail can help with donor retainment. According to the DMA, 70% of donors have restarted a relationship because of direct mail. You can use direct mail to show the impact your organization has made and how much it has grown, this strategy often helps to bring back former donors.
  • Garnering good feelings – Studies done by the Millward Brown research agency have shown that physical media leaves a much more significant mental impression than digital media does. This means that showing thanks through direct mail will create a much stronger feeling of appreciation that the donor experiences. This garnering of good feelings helps the advocate create a lasting connection to the cause which will increase future activity and engagement.

It is clear that complementing direct mail with a digital fundraising strategy is very beneficial to a nonprofit and can go a long way towards helping your cause.

Looking to complement your direct mail with digital fundraising?

Our team of digital marketing experts work hands-on with you on each component of your campaign to ensure it has all the elements of success. From identifying fundraising strategies to campaign setup, we’ll partner with you every step of the way so you can achieve your fundraising goals.

 



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