3 ways to use direct mail effectively in the age of social media


Although direct mail requires printing and postage, we still include it in our marketing plans because it can be effective if you do it right. MarketSmart has generated millions of dollars for clients with direct mail. Often it is best to combine direct mail with an Internet landing page. Otherwise, it’s just “junk mail”. Next, drop them in the mail every few weeks or so.

Direct Mail Is Here to Stay (and How)


In today’s digital age, it might seem somewhat nostalgic to talk about direct mail. While it’s tempting to default to cost effective communication channels like email and Facebook, direct mail is still very much in play. Today, direct mail continues to be an effective way to prompt donors to take action. You started out in direct mail almost 17 years ago. There’s often a lot of back and forth in direct mail.


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Direct Mail for Small Nonprofits

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

In a little over a week — starting November 8 — Tom Ahern will join me to present the Direct Mail for Small Nonprofits E-Clinic again at Nonprofit Marketing Guide. As you probably know, Tom Ahern is one of THE masters of donor communications, especially direct mail. Tom firmly believes that you don’t need a gigantic direct mail list in order to raise significant dollars — and he has proven it with several of his smaller clients.

Emailing Monthly; Direct Mailing Quarterly

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

As in previous years, we asked nonprofits how often they would email and direct mail the typical supporter on their mailing lists. No surprise: monthly emailing and quarterly direct mailing remain the most popular frequencies. . The survey for our 2013 Nonprofit Communications Trends Repor t will close tonight! Please add your voice if you aren’t one of the more than 1,300 nonprofit communicators participating in the survey so far!

Direct Mail Fights Back

The Agitator

Direct mail? Direct mail?! But wait, direct mail is fighting back. Or at least, as reported in Direct Marketing , the (not disinterested) US Postal Service is. Advertising mail accounts for 31% of USPS revenue. The USPS partnered with Temple University’s Centre for Neural Decision Making to study how consumers process physical ads (direct mail postcards) versus digital ads.

Direct Mail And Hurricanes

The Agitator

Postal Service is wondering, “Should I mail or not mail?” ” To The Agitator , with its roots in direct mail, this is both a donor-centric question and an organization-centric one. If you mail a massive acquisition campaign right now that includes Southeast Texas, Louisiana and Florida zip codes, you’ll appear insensitive if not downright mendacious to prospective donors.

Direct Mail Buzzes

The Agitator

I’ve noticed a few good items regarding direct mail lately that I’m sharing today. First up from Target Marketing is Paul Bobnak’s collection of The 6 Best Direct Mail Teasers of 2016. Communications Copywriting / creative Direct mail premiumGotta get that letter noticed and open folks! Here are the two probably most relevant for Agitator readers, from Consumer Reports and The Sierra Club. Paul explains his picks here.

Write a Better Case for Support and Direct Mail Appeals

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Direct Mail Appeal Letters. Then, on July 28th, we start our very popular direct mail training with Tom. Or join us for the full Writing Direct Mail Appeal Letters e-clinic. Learn more about direct mail training. Or do you need to have your case for support or direct mail appeal ready in the near future? Join Fundraising Expert Tom Ahern. Fundraising expert Tom Ahern is cranking out some great stuff for us this year!

When Will Direct Mail Die?

The Agitator

From his photo, he looks like one of them/thar ‘Millennials’ Derrick’s post, which by definition I received and read online, is titled, The Paradox of Direct Mail , and makes the observation: “For many new and younger donors, direct mail is viewed as intrusive, messy, and a waste of resources. Direct mail premium I just read a blog post by a fundraising youngster, Derrick Feldmann.

Why Is Direct Mail Seeing A Resurgence?

The Agitator

Roger and I are direct mail … well, er, sluts. Whenever someone writes anything along the general lines of ‘direct mail punches on’, there we are, drooling and wagging our tails, like dalmatians responding to the fire alarm. Because we write in praise of direct mail so often, I’m always nervous about whether we’re covering old ground, old reports, old comparisons of direct mail to feeble sisters like email and social media.

Direct Mail Hanging In

The Agitator

The Direct Marketing Association notes in its recently released 2012 Response Rate Report that direct mail response rates have dropped nearly 25% over the past nine years. Even so, direct mail pulls a better overall response than digital channels. The report also says that: Cost per order or lead for acquisition campaigns were roughly equivalent for direct mail ($51.40), post card ($54.10), email ($55.24), and paid search ($52.58). for direct mail.

Direct Mail is not Yet Dead

The Agitator

None of this matters if you can’t block and tackle with mail. That’s right, mail isn’t dead. So here are my arguments for continued use of the mail. Mail is where more donations come in. Mail retains donors (slightly) better. Ending mail acquisition is a flop. American Cancer Society stopped mail acquisition in January 2013: New donors dropped by 11%. They started mail acquisition back up 18 months later. Mail engages the mind differently.

How to End Your Obsession With Direct Mail (and Why)


Recently someone over-enthusiastically posted a discussion topic on one of my LinkedIn Groups promoting direct mail’s benefits. I’m not against direct mail. In fact, I love direct mail too. Evidence of her enthrallment was provided in the form of a chart that showed how research found that most major gift donors for most organizations originated from direct mail marketing. Ahh… love. Is there anything better than love?

If you’re asking yourself whether or not direct mail is dead, then you’re asking the wrong question


There’s too much talk about whether or not direct mail is dead. I get direct mail delivered to me every day. The question should rather be about why BAD direct mail is still alive at all. BAD direct mail should be killed dead. Good direct mail should be kept alive. So what about your direct mail efforts? Have you compared the results of your direct mail efforts with the results attained from other channels?

Direct Mail Will Outlive Us All

The Agitator

Direct mail is: [ ] Dead [ ] Near Dead [ ] Nowhere near dead. Over the 9 years Tom and I’ve been agitating, few topics are the subject of more debate than the all-too-familiar prognostication that direct mail is either dead or dying. We’ve never bought into that myth as you can see from this 2012 post, Direct Mail: The Exquisite Corpse. Direct mail premium

More Lessons from Lisa’s Direct Mail Experiment

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Earlier this summer, Lisa Maher shared her initial results of her direct mail experiences with some nonprofit she supported. We are a bit past the halfway mark in this year-long experiment on the types of direct mail solicitations received and I’m back again to share more of my findings with you. This time around, I want to update you on the direct mail from the organizations in my previous post and some new ones that have come to my mailbox. Lisa Maher.

Direct mail - kill it. Slowly.

Blue Sky Collaborative

Direct mail still works. My biggest problem with direct mail is the lack of information that it provides. It generates a lot more money than email/online donations despite the fact that email fundraising continues to grow quickly. You really don't.

Should Your Direct Mail Appeal Letters Be Kept to One Page?

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

During our direct mail appeal letter training , we invariably get asked about appeal letter length: How many pages should our letter be? Direct Mail expert Tom Ahern shoots down the one-page myth immediately. What else are you assuming about direct mail that could be hurting your donations? You’ll also learn how direct mail really works physically and emotionally.

In Direct Mail, All Responses, Even Complaints, Are Good

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Tom Ahern is my go-to guy for all things direct mail. Afraid your direct mail piece goes too far and will solicit a negative response? If you are interested in Tom critiquing your direct mail appeal, sign up for our Direct Mail for Small Nonprofits e-clinic in May. ” I ask my new direct mail clients to agree that they will send out what I write for them exactly as I write it, without fiddling. Tom Ahern.

One Big Myth about Direct Mail Appeal Letters

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Each time we hold our Direct Mail for Small Nonprofits E-clinic , Tom Ahern and I have to help the participants overcome their pre-conceived ideas of what makes a great direct mail appeal letter. Tom’s answer: I just had the pleasure of hanging for a few days with Australia’s top direct mail house, a world-class operation called Pareto. They were so proud: they had an 8-page direct mail appeal that broke records.

Direct Mail Yields Major Gift Donors

The Agitator

On Monday we reported on the American Cancer Society (ACS) and its project over the past year to re-examine the role of direct mail in its fundraising program. ACS is committed to a sophisticated multi-channel marketing approach, in which direct mail remains a key work horse, and in which the full potential value of each donor (financial and otherwise) is recognized. Acquisition direct mail direct marketing major donors premium

Raising Money with Direct Mail and Donor Newsletters

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

In August, Tom will teach the fourth round of Direct Mail for Small Nonprofits , which is all about getting your appeal letter into tip top shape. You don’t need 100,000 people on your list to raise real money with your direct mail appeal, and Tom has the small yet extremely successful clients to prove it. Tom Ahern. I love Tom Ahern to bits.

Sample Calendars: How Often to Send Direct Mail and Email [Video and Download]

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

The sample calendars tell you when to send direct mail and email appeals, and direct mail and email newsletters, by quarter and month. Direct Mail Leaning – Starter — Download This One for Free Now (PDF). Direct Mail Leaning – Striving.

Newsletter: Firehouse Subs Sounds Alarm for Bottled Water; Dunkin Makes Case for Adding Dogs to Every Cause Marketing Program ; The Powerful One-Two Punch of Direct Mail + Email

Selfish Giving

Direct Mail ?? Another article - this one from the Tampa Bay Times - questioning the audacity (No, the GALL!! I'm clutching my pearls) of a retailer asking for a donation at the register! Oh, the misery! ?? Oh, the effrontery! ?? Oh, the embarrassment! ?? Break. No one is forcing you.

Direct Mail Best Practices for Nonprofit Organizations

Exactask Marketing

Despite the increasing shift towards digital fundraising, using direct mail as part of your overall marketing strategy still provides significant benefits for any nonprofit clients your agency may be working with. Many shy away from direct mailers because of the slow lead time, high initial costs required or because past campaigns haven’t shown much success. When done right, though, direct mailers can be a nonprofit’s most valuable asset. direct mail Marketing

Hot Topics in April: Direct Mail, Modern Media Relations, and Supportive Nonprofit Cultures

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Apr 3 & 4: Writing a Direct Mail Appeal Letter In-House, Parts 1 and 2. The post Hot Topics in April: Direct Mail, Modern Media Relations, and Supportive Nonprofit Cultures appeared first on Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog. Here’s what’s happening at Nonprofit Marketing Guide this month: Online Training: STARTS TOMORROW! Learn how you can raise more money writing your own appeal letter.

Writing Your Own Direct Mail Appeal Letter This Year? You Got This!

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Think your in-house created direct mail appeal doesn’t stand a chance against the big boys? Tom Ahern has proven he can help nonprofits of all types raise a significant amount of money – especially with direct mail appeals. Next week Tom Ahern joins us for his direct mail appeal e-clinic where he will show you how you can create a successful year-end direct mail appeal letter in-house.

Direct Mail Testing To Nowhere

The Agitator

Acquisition direct mail Don''t Miss these Posts DonorVoice fundraising innovation premium I suspect a good part of the reason why fundraising and especially acquisition is so flat or down lies in the business-as-usual, risk adverse nature prevalent in the contemporary nonprofit mentality.

Direct Mail … You Know You Like It!

The Agitator

Time to end the week with a simple reminder about old-fasioned direct mail. Who reading this post doesn’t enjoy receiving real mail? Who, given the choice, would prefer to receive an important message — a communication whose intent you knew was to move you, a communication you were eagerly anticipating, a communication from someone you felt connected to — by email as opposed to real mail? Direct mail premium

If You Write Direct Mail Appeals In-House, You’ll Want to Know About This

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

If you have been part of our community for any length of time, you know Tom Ahern and how awesome he is at writing fundraising copy – especially direct mail appeals. (If In fact, his direct mail appeal e-clinic has been the most popular e-clinic we offer and consistently sells out each time. So now, you can still join us for the first 60-minute training webinar where Tom will teach you the basics of creating a direct mail appeal.

Direct Mail Survives At American Cancer Society

The Agitator

That strategy involved: Stop all direct mail acquisition to generate new direct mail donors for the organization. Stop all direct mail conversion to offer non-direct mail Society donors (online donors, event-participants/donors, information seekers, etc.) an opportunity to give a direct mail gift. Remove the American Cancer Society direct mail donors from all exchange universes.

Direct Mail for Small Nonprofits – July E-Clinic

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

You can put both concepts to work for you with your direct mail appeals. You can take a chance and do something a little different with your annual appeal this year, while also scaling down the lessons learned from bigger organizations to your smaller nonprofit’s direct mail campaign. Renowned direct mail copywriter and fundraiser Tom Ahern is going to show 24 nonprofits how to do just that during our July e-clinic, Direct Mail for Small Nonprofits.

Fresh Opportunity For Direct Mail Fundraisers

The Agitator

No direct mail isn’t dead. Still, if you need some encouragement about the future of direct mail, read on. But here’s some additional direct response ammunition for our case. demographic trends direct mail latinos premium It’s the workhorse, delivering by far the preponderance of individual donations, at least in the US.

Lisa’s Direct Mail Watching Experiment, Part 3

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Lisa Maher has been sharing guest posts with us this year about the kinds of direct mail communications she received after donating to several nonprofits last year. We are coming to a close on this in this year-long experiment on the types of direct mail solicitations received and I’m back again to share even more of my findings with you. Since I’ve been tracking all of my direct mail since January, I have amassed quite a collection. Lisa Maher.

Direct Mail for Small Nonprofits – Get It Right This Year

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Our July e-clinic on direct mail with Tom Ahern sold out so quickly that I asked Tom if he’d go ahead and schedule a second session with us, and he agreed! Except this year, you will have registered for this November e-clinic well in advance, so when you are writing your holiday appeal letter the week before Thanksgiving, you are doing it with one of the leading direct mail experts at the ready to help you improve the letter.

Acquisition – Direct Mail: The Exquisite Corpse

The Agitator

For nearly 20 years prognosticators have prematurely heralded the death of direct mail. After all, they argue, “online” is far cheaper and faster, plus donor demographics are changing, so it’s only a matter of time before direct mail is dead and buried. So, as The Agitator begins exploring various acquisition channels, I want to start off by making certain everyone understands that the “Direct Mail Is Dead Myth” is just that — a myth.

Why Direct Mail Won’t Die

The Agitator

As Mark Phillips at Bluefrog notes, this is why direct mail fundraising won’t die! direct mail fun fundraising

Direct Mail Drop and Social Media Rise

A Small Change

Outside of a vibrant major gifts program direct mail is probably the number one way to raise money at most organizations. And direct mail will still be a major way to find donors for a long time to come but not forever. It appears that direct mail is on the decline. I think that we are still at the early stages of social media fundraising and we will see direct mail continue to decline and social media & online fundraising continue to grow.

Starting Over #5: Growing Without Direct Mail

The Agitator

Breaking Out of the Status Quo Direct mail Donor acquisition Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Integrated fundraising and marketing Nonprofit management Starting Over premiumWhen we first announced the Starting Over series, the very first comment we received came from Sarah Nutbrown who works for a small nonprofit in New Zealand.

Direct mail envelopes–five ideas for nonprofit fundraising


of the direct mail we get, unopened. A good half of my direct mail is from nonprofits and, even in my modestly generous home, nine out of 10 new appeals go unopened into the recycling bag. Remember, direct mail is a science, not an art. postage stamp or bulk mail indicia (Herschell Gordon Lewis, Direct Mail Copy That Sells , recommends a postage meter). typeface (gotten any ‘hand-addressed’ mail yet?).

Why You Shouldn’t Give Up on Direct Mail

Ann Green

You may think direct mail is a relic of the past or you don’t use it much because it’s too expensive. Direct mail is still a viable way to communicate with your donors. Some donors prefer to hear from you by mail. Most donors are over 45 and won’t think direct mail is a relic from the past. Direct mail: dead, or immortal? Aim to communicate by mail at least four times a year. Direct mail works.

4 essential questions to ask yourself about your planned or major gift direct mail program


Are you really doing direct mail well? Do they put up with your direct mail? I think if your retention rate is under 40%, your donors are sending you a message about your direct mail program. But I think it’s important to ask yourself the following two questions: Am I saying “Yes” to more direct mail simply as a default option because I’m swamped? I like to say, “Be donor-centric. Be personalized. Be relevant. Or be gone!”

DMA Direct Mail Stats

The Agitator

Ethan Boldt at Inside Direct Mail reports these U.S. direct mail stats from the DMA’s new 2010 Statistical Fact Book: Direct mail accounts for 52% of all mail (over half of all mail has been direct mail since 2007). pieces of mail per week (down from a high of 26.2 In terms of mail individuals say they "read immediately" … From federal government, 63%.