Using Direct Mail Campaigns to Increase Donations
How to Increase Donations with 5 Sure-Fire Direct Mail Tactics
In good and bad economic times, achieving your fundraising goals is essential. Not knowing how to increase donations to hit the numbers you need puts your mission in jeopardy. You know what failure could mean – reprioritizing initiatives, delaying, or abandoning them altogether.
Fortunately, we are sharing 5 proven direct mail services for nonprofit organizations to help fundraising managers hit those all-important goals.
How to Increase Donations with Direct Mail
We’ve shared many statistics about the effectiveness of direct mail – so you know it gets great results. Here’s a variation –
Direct mail is 37 times more effective than email response rates according to the Direct Mail Association.
The smart money says to go with direct mail. According to recent statistics, 42% of recipients read their direct mail and it hangs around the household for an average of 17 days which gives all members of the household time to review it. Explaining sustained giving options may have a better chance to be read and understood in a carefully crafted letter.
Now that you know how direct mail will deliver, what should you do with it?
#1 – How to Increase Donations? Reach Out to Current Donors
You’ve heard the old saying that it’s easier to sell a customer than a prospect. Well, the same is true of your current donors.
Because your donors have shown they are aligned with your mission and want to help your organization achieve it by donating before, they don’t have to be convinced. This group is the most likely mail recipient to give during your next campaign. Yet, it’s easy to overlook them.
If it’s awkward to start the conversation with someone who has already been generous to your organization, just say thank you for their past support and invite them to continue that support.
#2 – How to Increase Donations? – Use Targeted Lists
Your nonprofit probably knows the type of donor who is the most generous and consistent in their donations to your organization. Create a custom list and use the donor segments that have worked best for you – or send variations of your campaign letter to current, lapsed, and long-lapsed donors to increase donations.
Instead of requesting a large contribution, consider sending lapsed donors a sustained giving proposal that’s built from their prior giving history. For instance, if they’ve routinely given $200 a quarter, you can suggest they pledge $70 a month to make donations more manageable.
Send a separate communication to your largest donors, who have a bigger stake in your organization. They may be more interested in special initiatives, the benefits, and how you will use their money. In addition to a special message, the communication may require higher quality stationery.
Want to know how to increase donations from new major donors? Target high-income neighborhoods on customized lists as 93% of these women donate to nonprofits while 87% of men also donate.
#3 – Personalize Your Marketing to Increase Donations
Nearly every business influencer and sales guru, from Dale Carnegie to today’s experts, know the power of using a person’s name. It immediately draws the reader’s attention and provides a personalized feeling to the mailer.
When you’re approaching a donor – current or new – with the reasons why they should donate to your cause, using their name can be influential.
Fortunately, with today’s digital marketing printing solutions, the cost of personalization, sometimes called variable data printing, is much more affordable, making it a must-do!
#4 – Pro Tip: Use Reply Devices
This is simply a way to make it easier for the recipient to act. A mail-back card and a pre-addressed envelope can encourage donors to include a check or complete a form to demonstrate their commitment to donate on a regular schedule.
Why is a pre-stamped, pre-addressed envelope so important? With a marked decrease in mailing (in 2000 there were 103,526,000,000+ mailed; in 2020 it was nearly half the volume, 52,624,000,000) what’s the likelihood that your recipient doesn’t have an envelope or first-class stamp?
Why take the chance that a well-meaning donor wants to give, but they have to get stationery supplies or go to the post office to do it? How many will set aside the letter with the intention of getting back to it, and then forget it? Instead, make it easy for donors to give.
#5 – How to Increase Donations – Keep in Touch with Donors
Even if you’re between donor campaigns, keep in touch with your donors to let them know how their donations have made a difference within your organization. Keeping them connected to the organization can make it easier for donors to say “Yes” to your next campaign.
This step applies to lapsed donors, too. If you’re reluctant to stay in touch, keep in mind that you don’t know why they stopped donating to your nonprofit. It may be that they lost their job – fortunately for many, this is a temporary situation. Put your nonprofit front and center when they’re ready to give again.
These 5 steps can help your nonprofit to have the best chance of increasing donations in good economic times and not-so-good times. Partnering with a direct mail campaign and print experts with nonprofit experience, like One Stop Marketing can make your campaigns easier to execute and your goals easier to achieve.
Contact us or give us a call at 602.962.9243 to find out just how committed we are to helping you hit your big goals.
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