Increase Donations With Strategic Direct Mail Campaigns
As we move into the last five months of the year, nonprofits are gearing up for a busy fall and winter fundraising season. With that in mind, it’s time to lay out your strategy to increase your donations. There are many factors to consider with direct mail fundraising, but assuming your current direct mail programs are bringing in funds is not ideal. Let’s focus on how to increase those donations.
Focus on Emotional Storytelling
We all know that stories to elicit emotions are extremely important. Did you know that you can use that story strategically to increase their need to donate to you? The best way to do this is to create a story that shows them how the donor could have been in the same situation and in need of your help. How you go about doing this will depend on what your nonprofit does. Here are some things you should keep in mind:
- Prompt people to recall a time when they really could have used your service.
- Get them to imagine a future in which they are happy because of how they helped specific people through you.
- Include ways in which you are the only nonprofit near them to provide your specific solution.
- Take advantage of current events that connect your service to them.
- Paint a picture with your story of what it is like to experience the services you provide.
Other basic aspects of storytelling to consider when writing your story and designing your direct mail include:
- Showing the problem you are solving.
- Choosing your words carefully. You want words that help donors envision the wonderful outcome making a donation will be.
- Acknowledging their fears, struggles, dreams or desires, with a donation as the solution.
- Using images that show a person eliciting the emotion you want to generate. Our brains respond as if we are experiencing that emotion, which is exactly what we want to do in our direct mail to drive donations.
- Using rationale to give them the reasons why they should donate to give and the rational explanation for their emotional purchase.
Utilize Data Profiling
Increasing donations from current donors is great, but we also need to add new donors. Finding them can be difficult, so constantly cultivating prospects is a must. Finding the right prospects using data profiling is very easy.
Segmenting your data can help you identify different donor segments by socioeconomic ranks and demographics. Socioeconomic factors include income, education, occupation and home value. Meanwhile demographics can be based on age, location affluence or whether or not a donor has children. Behaviors can also be part of your segmentation.
The benefits of profiling your data are enormous. It not only gives you valuable information on your current donors but allows you to find prospects that are most like them for easier conversion into donors. You can also use the profiles to create more customized offers on your mail pieces. The more personalized the offer, the better your response rate is going to be.
Typically, you can expect an increase in response rates of between 10% to 50% when you are targeting prospects based on profiling. Your offer and design can factor into the response rate so your lift is also dependent on them. One of the common misconceptions about data profiling is that it is expensive. However, when you factor in your increased response rates, you will have easily paid for it and then some.
The preceding blog was provided by an individual unaffiliated with NonProfit PRO. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of NonProfit PRO.
Summer Gould is Account Executive at Neyenesch Printers. Summer has spent her 31 year career helping clients achieve better marketing results. She has served as a panel speaker for the Association of Marketing Service Providers conferences. She is active in several industry organizations and she is a board member for Printing Industries Association San Diego, as well as the industry chair for San Diego Postal Customer Council. You can find her at Neyenesch’s website: neyenesch.com, email: email@example.com, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @sumgould.