Direct mail is a tried and true channel for marketing and companies all around the country realize the value of placing something physical into the hands of potential customers. They’ve found that mail adds a personal touch and still manages to seem less intrusive than other marketing techniques. According to one survey, 70% of Americans polled said they consider the mail they read to be more personal than what they read on the internet.
Your non-profit can jump on this growing trend just as the for-profit companies do. Before you start, however, make sure you learn about the process. Here are six tips to help you get the most out of your non-profit direct mail campaign.
- Clarify your goals. Nobody wants to waste an effective campaign with an impressive response rate on something that doesn’t really contribute to achieving ultimate goals. What is it you’re trying to accomplish with the campaign? Without knowing that, you can’t make decisions about whom to target, how to target them and what call-to-action to give. If you’re looking for apples, an effective campaign that brings oranges pouring in won’t be much of a success. Make sure you focus on the goal so you can tweak your campaign with that in mind.
- Know where the line is. Sometimes you have to rely on the people who have always supported you, but other times you need to find new supporters. A rich field will eventually go barren if farmers overwork it. Your supporters have demonstrated their devotion to the cause before, but repeated efforts to ask them for money can wear thin and become annoying; trust us, you don’t want to be annoying.
- Try different variables. The smallest changes can have a surprisingly large effect in ways you never would have guessed. Try different addresses, different calls to action or different tones in the body of your text. Swap out the tired images you always use, or adjust the color scheme to something a little funkier.
- Combine your direct mail campaign with digital efforts. Using digital media to supplement your direct mail campaign can increase its effectiveness. One study found that coordinating both campaigns increased ROI by 118%; another found that 72% of consumers prefer that brands reach out to them through multiple channels. Virtually everyone has a mailbox, but nowadays most people have a Facebook account, an email account or some other form of online presence. Boost your ability to reach your supporters by using these methods and more. The more you build up your relationship with them, the more they will be willing to donate to your cause; consumers want you to reach out in multiple ways -- oblige them.
- Make your direct mail campaign appealing. If your particular mail piece arrives on the same day as several other envelopes and ads, you’ll either have to hope it stands out, or you’ll need to take care that you’ve designed it to stand out. Guess which tactic is more effective?
- When you make a donation request, let potential donors know how you will use the money. They already know the general goals of your organization, but when they can connect the money they send with a specific project, it helps to convince them it is all worthwhile. In turn, participation in a worthwhile venture builds trust between your organization and the donor.
Suggestions include a review of your past successful projects, or a pie chart that graphically presents the way you spend money on a yearly basis. Most important, however, is that you let them know what’s going on now and what you plan to do in the future. Together, your efforts can convince a potential donor you’ve used their money wisely in the past, and present a worthy cause for the future.
Stay in touch by sending supporters regular mail to keep them abreast of what’s going on in your organization, but don't drill the well until it's dry. Grumpy benefactors won’t remain benefactors for very long.
Another thing to try is experimenting with highlighting different portions of the message. Even something as seemingly insignificant as the envelope in which you mail it might just be the key to improved success. Just remember not to change too many variables at once, or you’ll find yourself spending time trying to decide which approach was the most effective. Experts recommend testing about 10% of your prospect list.
In the same vein, some donors may not have the patience to read everything you cram onto a postcard. You need a hook to grab their attention and convince them to read what you have sent them; photos are the most likely thing to pop out, so choose dynamic images that will hold attention and lead the eye to the next thing on the page. Other tips include using large fonts, because a wall of text is the furthest thing from an attention-getter. Effective use of white space is also important. Just remember that the competition for attention is not over once your potential donor’s eyes land on your mailer; you have to keep it long enough for them to read what you have to say and decide to take action.
Come See What Boingo Has to Offer
If you run a non-profit looking to reconnect with old donors while reaching out to new ones, direct mail can be an instant jolt of energy. Boingo has experience with helping organizations just like yours streamline their direct mail campaigns. If you choose to combine direct mail with your existing digital campaign, Boingo has the ideas and the know-how to make it work for you.
Contact us and see today what we can do for you.