Donors Respond Better to Direct Mail
With so many fundraising tools at your disposal, it may be hard to choose the right media. However, research shows that printed direct mail marketing and printed mail campaigns continue to be more effective prompts for giving. In fact, direct mail is more effective than email, social media, radio or TV. If you’re not including direct mail in your fundraising efforts, you may be missing out.
As commercial printings with deep experience in collegiate fund raising mailers, we know that all direct mail is NOT created equal. To get the best results from your direct mail campaigns, keep these tips in mind.
Stop asking for money.
Okay, don’t completely stop, but stop asking in every communication. A recent study polled hundreds of alumni from all types of universities and found almost all respondents view an email, phone call or direct mail piece from their alma mater as an ask for money BEFORE they even open it. Whether you’re a college reaching out to alumni or any other type of organization communicating with their donor base, you must develop a meaningful communications program that reaches beyond the ask for money.
Make your direct mail appeals easy to read.
We all know that older people tend to be bigger donors. That’s why it’s important to make your messages easy on older eyes. Make sure you use large print. As a rule, never go below 12 point type. Allow for plenty of spacing between lines and paragraphs. And keep in mind that about 8% of adult men are functionally color blind so avoid layering colors when communicating essential information, especially red, yellow, blue and green. Black type on a white background is the safest bet.
Don’t discount postcards.
Among mail piece types, postcards are most likely to be read; 52.5% are read by recipients.^ If you want to get attention and build awareness, post cards may be the way to go.
Test different variables.
Use your best performing piece as your control, and then start testing ways to beat your control. Experiment with responses on everything from inserts to letter length, to time of mailing to the envelope. For best results, limit your tests to a single element so you’ll know exactly how each change affects success.
Don’t hide behind a generic envelope.
Nonprofit mail remains more likely to be read than regular standard mail and first-class mail. Be clear about who you are and what you represent on the envelop, or you may reduce your chances to be opened.
No one ever wants to feel like a number. This is especially true when receiving communications from a charitable organization. When you have personal data, use it to personalize your mailings. Address the envelope by name, greet the donor by name, and ask for the donation using first names. If you’d like to call the donor by name in other places, consider the “thank you” line and even the postscript.
Cultivate your top direct mail donors.
Treat your top donors with extra care. Use advanced personalization in all of your correspondence. Share news and updates with them while acknowledging their past giving history. Use premium stocks and envelopes. After all, they are now your best source of future donations.
The bottom line? If you’re not using a robust direct mail program as part of your fundraising efforts, you’re missing out. If you’d like to find out how Intelligencer can help you create a more successful fundraising program, contact us for a free consultation today.
Sources: YouGov Giving Report 2013 (December 12, 2013), DMA 2013 Statistical Fact Book
Intelligencer became one of the oldest printing companies in North America by constantly improving and innovating printing, direct mail, fulfillment and customized services. We don’t rest on our 200 years of experience. Intelligencer continually pushes the boundaries of technology to provide the latest advances in the art and science of printing. It’s no wonder we’re the preferred print supplier for so many Fortune 500 companies throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.