The Allure of Direct Mail

The Allure of Direct Mail


Aspen Logan

Blog post by Aspen Logan
published 7/21/2023

There are many reasons why adding direct mail into your marketing strategy can not only increase donations but can also boost engagement and loyalty with your supporters. Here are a few to consider.

The Intangible Power of Tangibility

Emotional Connection: In a world numbed by emails and automated messages, direct mail brings a personal touch that resonates with supporters on an emotional level. Addressing donors by name and sharing narratives tailored to their interests creates an intimate feeling connection, making it more than just another piece of mail. Recipients are more likely to keep the physical piece in their home and will refer to it, on average, 4 times during its life.

Credibility: Studies have shown that direct mail generates a higher level of trust among donors compared to digital solicitations like emails and digital ads. Direct mail feels more authentic to supporters and are 30% more likely to respond to it than an email. With direct mail, non profits can present a well designed piece that outlines their missions and accomplishments, elevating their credibility and instilling a sense of loyalty in donors.

Casting a Wider Net: Although the internet has a global reach, not everyone is connected. Direct mail allows nonprofits to reach potential donors who may not have an online presence, widening the organization's audience and potential donor base.

Boosting Donations

Statistics on Success: According to a study by the Data & Marketing Association, direct mail boasts an almost 5% response rate. Compared to email at 0.6% and social media at 0.4%, direct mail is the clear winner. The response rate for acquiring new donors through direct mail is significantly higher at about 1% compared to acquiring new donors through digital channels which is a low 0.2%.

The Art of Storytelling: Direct mail can be used to share compelling stories of the organization’s real life impact and world-wide transformative change. Including examples of how their contributions have made or will make a difference are a very powerful way to create an emotional connection with the donors, encouraging them to give generously.

Integrating Analog and Digital: Combining direct mail with digital marketing methods can breathe new life into an organization’s fundraising efforts, as well as increase donations. Including QR codes that go to web pages directly related to the direct mail campaign or just an email that discusses similar topics to the direct mail can facilitate a seamless transition from offline to online giving, increasing donations by 30% compared to direct mail alone.

End-of-Year Appeals- A powerful fundraising strategy

The Season of Giving: The holiday season reinforces the value of human connections and the importance of being there for one another. Direct mail appeals that are carefully crafted with heartfelt messages can nurture a sense of kinship between the nonprofit and its supporters. The tangible nature of direct mail serves as a reminder of the nonprofit's mission and the positive impact of past donations and evokes a shared sense of purpose. This connection can lead to altruistic giving and increase donations.

Financial Benefits to Donors: Direct mail appeals can frame end-of-year giving as an opportunity for donors to end the year on a high note, making a tangible difference in the lives of those in need. Encouraging donors to give generously not only supports the organization's vital work but also translates to concrete tax advantages for the donors themselves. By shedding light on this relationship, nonprofits can foster a sense of collaboration and shared interests.

Reflections of Impact: End of year appeals are an excellent opportunity for non profits to showcase their achievements and milestones throughout the past year. By highlighting the impact of their donor’s contributions and outlining what the organization accomplished with those donations, organizations can showcase the tangible differences they made in people’s lives. This allows supporters to see that they are really making a difference and to feel encouraged to offer their continued support year after year.

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