Direct Mail vs. Digital: The Battle Continues

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) released findings from a new study today showing that direct mail (and phone outreach) still deliver significantly higher response rates than digital (specifically e-mail) campaigns. Note: Importantly, this study and the findings highlighted here are not specific to nonprofit marketing/fundraising.  These are commercial marketing results (though there’s still value for […]

Should you let direct mail donors “rest”? (Tip #24)

Mail at least monthly.  A lot of people think monthly solicitation is too frequent.  Maybe you don’t want to over mail donors and make them mad.   I understand that. Here’s the deal.  In the months you aren’t mailing, plenty of other organizations are.  It isn’t like their mailbox will be empty because you didn’t send […]

Are you integrating mail and e-mail? You should be… (Tip #23)

Every time you put mail into the mailstream, you should send a coordinated e-mail blast.  The integrated (timing, theme and message) approach will help you reach more donors and generate more net revenue than just sending direct mail by itself.  

What’s your direct mail suppression strategy? (Tip #22)

Be careful not to over-suppress. What do you do when someone calls and asks to be taken off your mailing list?  Do you just say OK and pull them from all future communication? The better solution is to engage them, and use this opportunity to build a deeper relationship.  Try to solve their desire for reduced […]

How often can you use a match challenge in the mail? (Tip #21)

Matching challenges help increase direct mail response rates and total revenue.  I’ve seen nonprofits that use matches in as many as 7-10 of their mail appeals each year.  Probably seems excessive, right?  The interesting thing is, it doesn’t get old.  Donors love leverage. Use a match as frequently as you can – they work well!

Are you constantly reinventing your direct mail wheel? (Tip #20)

Find a control package (or several).  I’m always surprised when I talk to nonprofit organizations and hear things like, “we’re working on a new holiday package because our board thinks we’ve used the old one too long – they’re bored with it.” I’m all for testing.  Testing is important.  But before you begin testing, you’ve […]