Direct mail is a great way of marketing for charities as it’s possible to recruit and retain charity supporters using one medium. A recent article by B2B source stated that direct mail has its advantages over email marketing and is ‘head honcho’ when it comes to fundraising. However, what are the aspects of direct mail that charities need to consider?
Direct mail for Fundraising
- Volume and economies of scale - The return on investment for direct mail depends on the volume of mail you are sending. Direct mail is very much built on economies of scale - the larger your database, the better value achieved. It would not make sense for a charity for fork out £6000 for the creative work if they only have a small following of supporters.
You must also take into account the time taken to recruit new donors. If you work out that it’s costing you £5 a head to recruit a new donor then you will have to spend £50,000 to gain 10,000 new donors. Direct mail can take commitment and dedication to finally pay off as it could take a good 2-3 years to finally see positive results.
- Analyse your results carefully and recognise value - Look at the return on your investment with an open mind. If you work out that your mailing campaign has cost you £1000 with four leads gained, two of which convert to business of over £10,000+ then you must see this as a great investment.
- Make sure you test as much as possible, tests your mailing list and vary who you are writing to. Test the timing also, the results will vary when sent at different times in the year. Make sure you get the right week by trial and error or by collaborating with charity mailing specialists such as Orbital Charity Dynamics. You can even experiment with different types of creative, making sure to keep adapting and modernising as designs tend to get tired very quickly.
- Copy is everything! Make sure your copy is up to the tasks by investing in professional copywriters who know what to mention to get people to put their hands in their pockets. Send a message that you want your potential donors to respond to. Remember to use an emotional proposition as opposed to an intellectual one - people are motivated by their emotions regardless of the facts.
There are many other aspects that need to be considered when engaging in direct mail for charities, but get the basics correct and you will find that it’s the best way to recruit and retain charity supporters over the long term.