Using Direct Mail as a Catalyst for Donations
Traditionally, recipients have always been able to respond directly to a direct mail fundraising appeal using the tear-off sheet at the bottom of the appeal letter. With today’s rise in technology and a shift in focus to omnichannel marketing, prospective donors often look for ways to donate online as well.
A strong fundraising appeal will give them both options. When done correctly, direct mail can be used as a catalyst for online and offline donations alike.
Here are a few tips for driving the highest response.
Optimize the Fundraising Package
Direct mail fundraising packages should be optimized to capture the attention of donors and prospective donors and effectively persuade them to donate to your cause. Teasers on the outside of the piece (bonus points if it calls out their name) act as an immediate attention grab. Repeating their name throughout the piece creates a connection with the recipient and makes them feel as though the piece was written especially for them.
It is best to keep the copy on the letter short and sweet. Otherwise, it may be difficult for the recipient to read through the entire piece and they might get lost halfway through. A nonprofit organization with a long history or backstory might see better results by providing readers with a short description that alludes to a full explanation on an insert/buckslip in the package, or an online link on the organization’s website. This is especially important when marketing to Millennials who care about where their money is going and how it is going to be used.
Make It Easy to Donate
The call-to-action(s) to donate must be clear and easy to find, especially if there is more than one way to respond to the piece.
For recipients that prefer to respond by sending a physical check, it’s important to make sure that necessary information is provided on the return slip or envelope that allows for easy response tracking back to that particular campaign.
For recipients that prefer to respond by donating online, it’s important to make sure the website link is clearly presented and easy to type, and the page you are directing them to is easy to navigate once they are online.
Set Up Your Online Donation Page to Retarget Non-Responders
When providing an online donation option, it is important to consider putting digital retargeting strategies that keep the organization’s message in front of prospective donors until they are ready to donate on their own terms. It also serves as a great reminder in case they threw away or misplaced the original donation form they were originally sent.
The Key Takeaway
Direct mail fundraising campaigns are important because they are the catalyst for online and offline donations alike.
Allison Jensen is the marketing coordinator for Compu-Mail. Allison specializes in helping organizations seamlessly integrate their marketing efforts through high response direct mail & digital retargeting. She works with marketers to uncover the best way to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. In prior roles, Allison has worked directly with agencies and non-profit organizations. She is a graduate of Niagara University.