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

iMarketSmart

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)

EveryAction

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.

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.

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.

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. Acquisition direct mail direct marketing major donors premium

2 things you need to know for direct marketing

iMarketSmart

If you’re working on a direct marketing effort for major and/or planned gifts, there are just two things you need to know: 1. What’s really most important for a direct marketing effort to work is the list. >> Direct-Mail Writing That Raises Funds. >>

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 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. Direct mail Donor acquisition Major donors direct marketing premium

Acquisition: Direct Mail Testing – Part 2

The Agitator

One of the biggest pitfalls in direct mail testing is the ‘baby & the bathwater’ problem. The problem occurs when an organization or its consultant creates and mails a test package with numerous test elements.

Direct Mail vs Email Marketing: The Benefits of Both for Your Nonprofit Clients

Exactask Marketing

Successful nonprofit marketing campaigns include several channels of communication. direct mail Direct Marketing email marketing Marketing

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%.

Direct Mail Test Results

The Agitator

Here’s their first example of a head-to-head direct mail test … in this case, centered on the offer. Don't Miss these Posts direct mail direct marketing fundraising nonprofits researchThe Agitator has been featuring various A/B tests as reported on Which Test Won ? So far their tests have all been of the online variety.

Comfort For Direct Mail Fundraisers

The Agitator

DirectMarketingIQ offers this article reporting on an Epsilon study of consumer preferences (in US and Canada) for various marketing channels. Direct mail comes though with flying colors. The most important reason seems to be that consumers trust information in the mail more than online. Says Epsilon: “Consumers stated loud and clear that information is more private if sent through the mail versus email or online.

Pondering Direct Mail

The Agitator

Here’s a thoughtful essay from fundraiser Ken Burnett on the "death" of direct mail. Here’s an excerpt: "At its heart direct mail fundraising is not about direct mail. Fundraising via the mail is not in essence about stuff like that. Via the mail just happens to be one of the most satisfactory and cost effective ways of doing this.

Direct Mail Package 101

The Agitator

An experienced direct mail copywriter, with a proven track record, can command thousands of dollars for creating a direct mail package. Any nonprofit attempting to mount a direct mail campaign should think about whether your campaign can afford a seasoned copywriter. But I concede that leaves thousands of small nonprofits who have little choice — you do need to ask for donations, and do need to use mail to do so.

More Direct Mail Test Results

The Agitator

Every marketer/fundraiser should have an addiction to testing built into their genes. His examples — all dealing with direct mail acquisition packages — cover … Two-color vs four-color carrier. Mailing labels gift vs ‘invoice’ package. Mailing labels gift vs out-of-the-box paper lunch bag package. He can’t be talking about fundraising mail, can he? I love testing!

Email: Electronic Direct Mail?

The Agitator

No, says e-marketer Loren McDonald. Here’s an abridged list of what Loren says the successful email marketer really needs to know [with my comments from the peanut gallery]: 1. Email strategy — know how to create an email marketing plan and program that maximize the channel’s capabilities. Copywriting — email is not electronic direct mail. But basic direct response principles still hold water!].

Direct Mail Is Dying. Again!

The Agitator

Here’s another prediction of the death of direct mail, as reported on frogloop. Says research firm Borrell, spending on direct mail will decline by 40% over the next five years. Get a move on direct mail fundraisers! Focus instead on the direct response fundraising results of your own organization. So spread the word … Direct mail is dead!

Direct Mail Just Keeps Truckin!

The Agitator

Here are the stats on direct mail volumes from the latest USPS Household Diary Study (2008). billion mail pieces in 2008, of which 63% was advertising. Income, education and age of head of household are the major drivers of mail received. pieces of mail per week, compared to 20.6 pieces of mail per week (does that sound like your prospect?!). Households report responding in some way to one in ten direct mail advertising pieces.

What Direct Mail Can’t Do

The Agitator

In this post, 4 Ways to Overcome the Digital “Emotion Deficit,&# fundraising blogger Jeff Brooks makes excellent points about some advantages the online medium has over direct mail. Tags: Don't Miss these Posts communications direct mail direct marketing fundraising nonprofits online fundraising online publishing online video

A Direct Mail “First”

The Agitator

For the first time since records began in 1945, spending on commercial direct mail has declined. So says a white paper from the Winterberry Group , a strategic consulting firm to direct marketers, as reported here by the Center for Media Research. The report says spending on direct mail fell 3% in 2008, with a further decline of 9% predicted for 2009. Mail volumes fell 12% in 2008. Mail emerges as ideal complement to digital. "Green"

8 ‘Duh’ Principles Of Direct Marketing

The Agitator

’ principles of direct marketing from copywriter Dean Rieck via DirectMarketingIQ. Marketing begins and ends with the product. Make sure you’re doing direct marketing. ” Then there’s Charity:Water’s compelling offer: 100% of your donation goes directly into drilling wells; none of it goes to overhead … unfortunately, an offer not all nonprofits can make. We fundraisers all have our ‘Duh!’

70 Steps To Getting Your Direct Marketing Right

The Agitator

It’s been awhile since we featured master direct marketer Denny Hatch. Called The Direct Marketer’s Checklist , it’s simply a list of 70 boxes that any direct marketer should tick before they communicate their pitch. OK, 35 of the boxes apply to all media employed; the balance then focus on direct mail, then space ads, then catalogs, then email/ecommerce, and finally DRTV.

7 Solid Reasons Why You Should Kill Your Printed Planned Giving Newsletter

iMarketSmart

After all, it’s an easy marketing option (especially if you buy them from a vendor who has been creating them for you for decades). Or, better yet, include a mail-back reply that gives people the opportunity to opt-out.

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DMAW, their MAXI Awards, and a big “fail” for planned giving

iMarketSmart

At the 2013 Bridge Conference last week, you could walk through a wonderful “museum” of award-winning direct marketing fundraising packages. Is direct marketing only reserved for small gifts that sometimes make up only 20% or less of an organization’s revenue?

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The Skinny on Direct Marketing 101 – The Basics: A Participant’s View

DonorDigital

This following article was originally published in March 2016 by the Direct Marketing Association of Washington and is reprinted with permission. Held at The City Club of Washington, it covered the fundamentals of direct marketing, examined big picture trends and gave attendees an opportunity to network. Lori Barao (MMI Direct) followed with data hygiene. It’s worthwhile for anyone who truly appreciates the science of marketing.

Dangerous Myth #1: Too Much Solicitation Causes Poor Retention

The Agitator

direct mail direct marketing donor retention DonorVoice fundraising loyalty marketing metrics research premium

Winter 101

How Does Your Donor Behavior Compare To Canada?

The Agitator

Boomers demographic trends direct mail direct marketing Don''t Miss these Posts fundraising Hot Research online fundraising premium An excellent review of the donor landscape in Canada has just been released by fundraising agency hjc and Blackbaud.

Your Donors Are Old! Celebrate!

The Agitator

Boomers database marketing demographic trends direct mail direct marketing Don''t Miss these Posts fundraising Hot Research mobile advocacy online fundraising social networking telemarketing premium

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New Era Begins In 17 Years

The Agitator

So the direct mail army that drives direct marketed individual giving sniffs at that puny percentage, and goes back to work flexing its muscles and pumping up the nonprofit sector. direct mail direct marketing online fundraising premium We all know, thanks to Blackbaud , that online fundraising accounted for 6.4% of all fundraising in the US in 2013.

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Will Your Donors Share Information?

The Agitator

Direct response fundraisers realize that customizing appeals to specific donors will lift results. For direct mail donors, we know where they live; we know (list-wise) where they came from.

Donordigital Goes Secret Shopping

The Agitator

They made an initial online contribution to the 16 groups, and then for six months tracked all interactions with these organizations through direct mail, online and telephone. Most organizations did integrate new online donors into their other channels, notably direct mail, but the communications “rarely appeared to be integrated” and these follow-up communications (2nd gift requests) were often.

Simple Segmentation For Smaller Organizations

The Agitator

And so I was interested to see the results of a survey on ‘Communications Segmenting’ conducted by Bloomerang , the CRM company and Kivi Leroux Miller’s Nonprofit Marketing Guide. The Survey, database marketing direct mail direct marketing Don''t Miss these Posts fundraising premium

The Foibles & Follies Of Donor Conversion

The Agitator

The goal of ‘conversion’ because someone in the organization has decided to make everybody a direct mail donor is misguided at best. direct mail direct marketing Don''t Miss these Posts donor retention DonorVoice fundraising marketing metrics

American Cancer Society Flops

The Agitator

If b t were the new cure for cancer then the direct marketing staff and consultants of the American Cancer Society should win the Nobel Prize in Medicine hands down. The presentation—titled Direct Mail Acquisition—Engine for Growth or Treadmill for Survival? — was billed as offering perspectives on the impact and findings of the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) 17-month hiatus from acquisition direct mail.

Fundraising Intermission #2: Mastering The Basics

The Agitator

Good advice for those in our trade with a tendency to rush off in multiple directions based what interests them, rather than focus on what really matters. Here are four links you’ll also want to bookmark, read and re-read: An ABC of direct response fundraising.

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How Donors Choose Among Nonprofits: The Role of Identity

The Agitator

There’s an old joke at the right that often feels like nonprofit marketing. Donors’ perceptions of charity competence, notably the efficiency with which they are believed to use their money, often judged on the basis of the quality and quantity of direct mail.

The Courage To Change

The Agitator

Early this year the 100 year-old American Cancer Society (ACS) rocked the direct response ecosystem with its decision to stop all direct mail acquisition … stop the use of direct mail to non-dm acquired donors … and remove the ACS list of donors from all exchange universes. Here’s a brief summary of Angie’s first post on the subject, but I urge you to read it in its entirety: ACS isn’t abandoning all direct mail.

How Dirty Are Your Fingernails?

The Agitator

On rainy weekends one of my simple but rewarding pleasures is pawing through my bookshelves, re-reading direct marketing and fundraising favorites. On Sunday I got engrossed in Denny Hatch’s Million Dollar Mailing$.

Marketers from Mars

The Agitator

I just read this report from ExactTarget — Marketers from Mars — which underscored for me how marketers, including fundraisers, can get too far out in front of their audiences. The report makes many comparisons about marketers’ use of social media versus consumers. For example … 90% of marketers own smartphones; only 51% of consumers do. 86% of marketers have ‘liked’ at least one brand or company; 58% of consumers have.

Communication Versus Transaction

The Agitator

Acquisition communications direct mail direct marketing Don''t Miss these Posts email marketing fundraising marketing metrics online fundraising telemarketing premium Last week I noted some figures that online fundraising accounted for 6.4% of all fundraising in the US in 2013, while the growth rate for online fundraising was 13.5%.

Acquisition: Its Costs And ROI – Part 2

The Agitator

Or you can go online and use Harvard University’s free calculator or the free spreadsheet from the Database Marketing Institute. Acquisition direct mail direct marketing Don't Miss these Posts fundraising marketing metrics

Speaking Up For Mail

The Agitator

I’m compelled to note, however, that the vast majority of individual donor income for most non-profits is raised through the mail. (At The rest is direct mail, telemarketing and sustainer.) Let’s keep that in mind as we fend off our Boards and Executive Directors who don’t understand why our direct mail budgets haven’t markedly decreased. They will when the mail stops working!&#.

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