How to Optimize Your Nonprofit Direct Mail Marketing Campaign
In a world saturated with digital media, direct mail gives modern nonprofit professionals the opportunity to add unique and personal elements to their marketing strategies. Below, we will explore the ways your nonprofit can expand its reach and improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns with direct mail.
Understand the Organization's Goals Before Appealing to Its Constituents
Before sending any appeals, you need to understand what the organization is trying to accomplish. Knowing the goals of the campaign will help you segment the contact list into appropriate sections in which you can optimize calls-to-action, messages and landing pages.
Without clear goals, you will have trouble creating metrics and measuring the efficacy of your goals.
Carefully Choose Your Direct Mail Fundraising Audience
A lot of people will be inclined to blast the house file mail with the latest and greatest messages your team has concocted. Before doing so, stop! Think about the people who really need to receive the message you are sending and avoid sending to the folks who don't need to be inundated by your mail.
House file mailers are sent to donors who have given to your organization in the past (and who might need a gentle nudge to give again). Prospecting mail, on the other hand, is sent as a cold outreach to prospective donors who either have never given (but might) or those who have not given in a long time.
The messages you send to these two groups should vary greatly.
Appeal to Emotions
Direct mail gives you the opportunity to touch on emotions in a way that digital marketing simply can’t capture. Appeal to emotions by using promotional gifts or trinkets that resonate with your recipients. Craft a story around a single promo item, then send it in a package that comes complete with a message that makes your mission and vision more meaningful.
Keep Your Online Strategies in Mind
Your offline strategies should play counterpart to your online strategies. Keep both in mind when considering your next play for your marketing campaigns. Can you copy and paste the information you are sending via letter to your Twitter page? Are you able to invite people to learn more about your cause by visiting your social media sites?
In today's world, digital marketing and hard-copy mailers converge with mindful science.
Any number of factors can affect the positive outcome of your direct mailers — including layouts, language, phrasing and imagery. Before sending your final piece to the masses, test a few options on people or groups you trust. The difference between details, such as self-mailers versus envelopes with stamps, can change the whole game of your fundraising plan.
Leveraging this strategy can help enable you to understand which efforts make the most sense by evaluating the feedback you receive from your sample set.
Tell a Story in Your Direct Mail
Each organization has a different story to tell. Within that greater story, there are many tales yet to be told. Incite the benefactors of your organization to tell their stories. Maybe you run a teen homeless shelter, or perhaps you organize goods to be shipped to soldiers who are deployed. There are many causes, and each cause has a story. Utilize your constituents, so you can create stories that impact your audience.
Embrace PPC Advertising
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all other social media platforms offer paid advertising that will boost your bottom dollar when their applications are applied to your marketing strategies correctly. Pay per click (PPC) gets its most mileage when it is paired with email, direct mail campaigns and other methods that work in conjunction with each other.
Make sure your PPC campaigns mesh with campaigns that can easily be sent via email and direct mail to make the most of your marketing money.
Talk to the Reader
Don't use third-person statements such as "they" or "them," which could alienate the reader. It is imperative to include the target audience in any of your marketing copy. Instead, use pronouns that talk to readers by bringing them into your story. "We," "us" and "our" are pronouns that often resonate with readers and help them explore the story (and more).
Consider this sample copy:
“It's not about something somebody else is trying to accomplish; it's about what we are trying to accomplish with our set of unified goals and our mission to change what we see as inadequate at this moment.”
Don't discount the importance of direct mail just yet. While digital marketing is certainly important, it isn't the end all, be all of strategic success. With a little foresight, direct mail campaigns can bolster brand awareness and put your company in the driver's seat toward higher ROI.