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Direct Mail for Non-Profits & How It Can Help Your Cause

Direct Mail for Non-Profits & How It Can Help Your Cause

With the advance of the internet, direct mail marketing may seem like it should be on its way out. However, this form of contact is still one of the most effective and profitable ways to reach out to people. Here’s how sending brochures, catalogs, postcards, newsletters, and more directly to your contacts can benefit your nonprofit cause.

Let the Internet and Direct Mail Work Together

Instead of relying solely on one form of marketing over the other, use the two together. One great way to do this is with fundraising. Sometimes, people will only part with their money in particular ways. Some may prefer donating online while others opt to mail a check.

Rather than limiting your potential donors, give them the opportunity to donate in multiple ways. Include a URL on your direct mail material that guides them to a website where they can give that coordinates with the material they received in the mail. Also include an address to where they can send their checks. Some donors may opt to use both methods, which has been shown to potentially add long-term value to your nonprofit.

Grow Your Email List

It’s important to build a relationship with your potential and existing donors. A great way to do this is through emails. But, it is vital to gain your email addresses organically and not buy lists. Utilize your direct mail campaigns to ask for recipients to provide their email addresses. Let them know what they’ll be getting in return – newsletters in their inbox, exclusive information, and other incentives. Now, you’ll have multiple channels to build relationships through.

Remind Recipients of Important Events

People’s calendars fill up quickly, so it’s important to help them stay up-to-date regarding important upcoming events. For example, if you have an annual fundraiser coming up, send out a reminder a couple of weeks in advance to keep it in the front of your donors’ minds. Make the mail something that could be easily hung on a fridge and is eye-catching so they will continue to notice it up until the event.


Test Your Direct Mail Marketing

As a non-profit, you probably don’t have an unlimited marketing budget. Make the most of what you do have to use by testing responses to different types of direct mail campaigns. Consider how many donations or leads you get, how much each of those cost you, and how much a donor’s lifetime value is. Analyzing these amounts will help you see what works best and where is best to invest your money. Getting to know your donors and what they respond to will also help in building a relationship with them.

While you may think you’ve found the holy grail of direct mail marketing, don’t stop testing. Unless you are getting a 100% response rate, your results could always improve. The changes don’t have to be big – minor tweaks like when letters are mailed, inserts, and even type of envelope used can be tested to continue making your marketing more and more cost-effective.

Direct mail marketing is still a very effective form of communication, and your donors may prefer it. Make it work for your nonprofit, and you could see a rise in donations, email leads, and overall relationships. Thank you for reading our blog. If you would like to learn more, please click here.

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I'm the Director of Digital Services and Partner at Ballantine, a family-owned and operated direct mail & digital marketing company based in New Jersey. and started in 1966 by my great uncle!