Direct Mail for Direct Action
Direct Mail for Direct Action -- A Crucial Component of an Event-marketing Campaign
Dec. 6, 2005
By Jack Hudson
The sight of several thousand people starting off on what will become a full day, a whole weekend or even an entire week of what some might call "extreme" sports -- be it walking, running or cycling -- in the name of a good cause is a stirring one, and one that's becoming increasingly more common. It often does, though, prompt one to wonder what motivated so many to take on so much.
The market for multi-day fundraising "challenge" events owes its growth in no small part to direct-mail marketing. Aside from word of mouth, no other medium has the ability to so completely communicate the experiential nature of such events.
Multi-day fundraising events do much more than just raise funds -- they provide participants with an extraordinary sense of satisfaction and feeling of making a real difference. For some, they're a way to deal with or recover from an illness, or grieve the loss of a loved one. They spread awareness and create activists, and perhaps most importantly, spontaneously build their very own communities, which often last long after the event is packed up.
Embarking on such an event is a very personal, emotional journey -- one that's not for everyone. Participation can require up to a year of dedicated training and fundraising. Given this, finding the right people and sending the right message becomes that much more important. That's where direct mail comes in.
We might be familiar with the various more traditional roles direct mail can play in the fundraising process, but the process of recruiting participants for a fundraising event is a whole different animal, and with it comes a different and more complex role for direct-mail marketing.