Direct Mail Is the Story
The web is loaded with a lot of content about storytelling in marketing. And for nonprofits, the concept of “telling your story” is just as natural as getting a cup of coffee in the morning.
With the zillions of media channels your nonprofit has at its disposal to communicate with its audience, the question of which ones actually move them to engage and act is a source of constant debate.
What I’ve seen is that each marketing channel has a specific job to do in guiding your targeted person through their journey of advocacy. In the end, you want to be their nonprofit—the one they align to, the one they mention when they tell their own story to their friends and family.
In thinking this way, you can use direct mail as the main storytelling vehicle—and actually promote your mail.
Direct Mail: A Storytelling Vehicle
Direct mail is one of the most compelling ways to tell your nonprofit’s story with depth, feeling, arc and completeness. With a letter, you can get away with pages of storytelling content… if it’s good, people will read it. With a postcard, you can physically engage someone with text and images that they can hold on to and leave on the kitchen table. With a brochure, they can read it during their downtime.
The point is, people read direct mail. The studies indicate that 80% to 90% of direct mail gets opened.
So why not make your direct mail the focus of your other channels? Many digital channels point users to a video, so why not point them to a written story?
- Artfully write an Instagram post that references the new story, only available in the upcoming direct mail piece.
- Design a Facebook post that pushes a link for people to stay connected with stories via direct mail.
- Send an email that gives a hint of the story, then point them to a sign-up page to receive these stories in the mail.
Every person engages with good stories that have compelling characters. And if your team has good stories to tell about your nonprofits, structure those into compelling direct mail pieces that people will want to read.
Then you can make your mail the message.