8 Commandments for Converting Direct Mail Fundraising Appeals to Email

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Looking to repurpose your direct mail appeals into email? Thou Shalt Make Email SHORTER Than Direct Mail. Direct mail appeals clock in at well over 1,000 words, sometimes double and triple that. I once had a conversation with a direct mail writer who said he hated email.

Direct Mail And Hurricanes

The Agitator

With Hurricane Harvey barely in the rearview mirror and with Hurricane Irma churning through Florida, I’m sure every fundraiser who uses the U.S. Postal Service is wondering, “Should I mail or not mail?”

Direct Mail Fights Back

The Agitator

Who’s got the hot fundraising job? Email fundraising? Direct mail? Direct mail?! But wait, direct mail is fighting back. Advertising mail accounts for 31% of USPS revenue. What’s sexiest in your nonprofit these days?

Whew! The Mail Lives.

The Agitator

I saw two surveys today that reassure me that old-fashioned mail, my favorite medium, will probably outlive me. The first has no relevance to fundraising, but does shed some light on people who follow local issues and politics.

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Get more money with your year end appeal: Interview with Paul Bobnak of DMIQTV and Who’s Mailing What

Wild Woman Fundraising

How long have you been working in the direct mail industry? For the past 15 years I’ve been the archivist of Who’s Mailing What. My basic job which hasn’t changed much, every day I look at direct mail and email. We mark mailings that we see in our mail stream.

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Direct Mail vs Email?

The Agitator

According to this research (on this point, from Royal Mail), customers spend 25% more when businesses use a combination of direct mail and email marketing. For example: 56% say “mail makes me feel valued”; only 40% say that about email.

Funniest Nonprofit Direct Mail: Photoshop Disasters!

Wild Woman Fundraising

Funniest Nonprofit Direct Mail: Photoshop Disasters! originally appeared on Wild Woman Fundraising on July 5, 2012. Want an example of a funny appeal letter? Here’s one I wrote awhile ago.

Direct Mail Is Here to Stay (and How)


Click here for practical tips on improving your email program this year and here for an in-depth look at three reporting tools every nonprofit should have to improve their fundraising strategy.). 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. You started out in direct mail almost 17 years ago.

Reader Questions: Does adding extra stuff your appeal mailing work?

Wild Woman Fundraising

Recently I was leading a webinar for CharityHowTo called “Tons of Money in the Mail&# and a person asked this question: “What should we include in our direct mail? Adding things to your mailing can either help OR hurt you. Did I actually mail the card back?

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Direct Mail + Online = Results

The Agitator

One that recently caught my attention is titled: The Direct Mail Paradox and how you are losing donors. What fundraiser could resist a headline like that? These guys are mobile fundraising zealots, and so I expected their infographic would trash direct mail. And indeed they started a bit on that note, with this observation: “ For most people, direct mail is annoying (BTW, this is the.

When to Stop Snail Mailing and Emailing People, Part I

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

If email engagement is the goal (see last week’s posts here and here on why that is) and snail mail keeps getting more expensive, it makes sense in both channels to more carefully manage who is on your mailing lists so you only send to people who may actually consume that content, right? That means that you need to decide when you will STOP emailing and snail mailing people and remove them from your active lists.

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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. In the Blackbaud 2017 Charitable Giving Report , they found that six to 12 percent of total fundraising came in online depending on sector. Mail retains donors (slightly) better. Ending mail acquisition is a flop. Many (not all) donors like the mail.

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. .

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. for direct mail.

New Advanced Webinar: Getting Creative with Direct Mail with John Lepp

Wild Woman Fundraising

Webinar title: Advanced Webinar: Getting Creative with Direct Mail. Are your direct mail returns dropping? How can you write a better direct mail package for your nonprofit? The direct mail pack is not just about the letter though.

Direct Mail Appeal + Online Response

The Agitator

After two infographics yesterday pertaining to email, today another one pushed into my e-mailbox, this time on direct mail. Simply: “…consumers prefer responding to direct mail via online means.” Direct mail Online fundraising and marketing premium

When to Stop Snail Mailing and Emailing People, Part II

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

With print fundraising, however, we typically talk in terms of years. . What’s the risk of continuing to mail to people who aren’t responding? The opposite is true with print: It will cost you a lot of money to send mail to all those people who aren’t reading it and responding, but it’s not like the Postal Service is going to ding you for it and stop delivering your mail.

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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

Write a Better Case for Support and Direct Mail Appeals

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Join Fundraising Expert Tom Ahern. Fundraising expert Tom Ahern is cranking out some great stuff for us this year! Direct Mail Appeal Letters. Then, on July 28th, we start our very popular direct mail training with Tom. Learn more about direct mail training.

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.

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. On numerous occasions, The Agitator has urged US fundraisers to shift some focus and resource to the growing Hispanic population. demographic trends direct mail latinos premium It’s the workhorse, delivering by far the preponderance of individual donations, at least in the US.

Direct Mail Testing To Nowhere

The Agitator

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. Acquisition direct mail Don''t Miss these Posts DonorVoice fundraising innovation premium

#FUNDRAISING: Consider Moving Online Donors To Direct Mail Giving

Non Profit Marketing 360

Online donations are certainly growing, but as a recent report from Blackbaud demonstrates, long-term support and larger donations still mostly come from responses to direct mail, even if initial support comes online. Those gifts also tend to be higher than first-time mail-in donations.

How You Can Get More Money Through Direct Mail: Interview with Jules Brown of “Dear Joan”

Wild Woman Fundraising

He is a professional direct response copywriter specializing in the creation of highly persuasive fundraising campaigns for charities and non-profits. Mazarine: How did you get involved with copywriting for direct mail fundraising?

Reader Questions: How can you measure if your mailings are working?

Wild Woman Fundraising

This time, we are answering questions about DATA and your Mailing List! However, I think part of that has to do with the fact that my donor mailings are probably larger than they should be and include lapsed donors. Or mailing over mailing within the year?

Do you make direct mail happen for your nonprofit? This App’s for you!

Wild Woman Fundraising

When you’re fundraising for a cause, you want to make sure you don’t waste any time. You’ve got ten more things to do and you need to get this mailing out, FAST. This App helps you make sure that you never forget another appeal mailing step.

When Will Direct Mail Die?

The Agitator

I just read a blog post by a fundraising youngster, Derrick Feldmann. 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

Free Webinar: Tons of Money in the Mail September 9th

Wild Woman Fundraising

What people are saying: At the end of Tons of Money in the Mail, I asked Mazarine if she would review the year-end appeal letter I was in the process of writing. Mazarine’s webinar gave me many fresh ideas that I would like to incorporate into my upcoming mailings.

How to get money in the mail

Wild Woman Fundraising

get money in the mail. Here’s a prezi that tells you all about how to getting money in the mail through direct mail appeals. Follow me on twitter if you like to get advice about fundraising and getting more money for your charity!

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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

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. 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 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.

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. Fundraising Nonprofit Communications Online Courses

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.

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

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Watch this video to learn about the six new communications calendars I’ve created for you as part of our brand-new training, Creating a 12-Month Community Engagement and Fundraising Plan. Direct Mail Leaning – Starter — Download This One for Free Now (PDF).

Stop Mailing! Don’t Stop Mailing!

The Agitator

And more specifically, when should the former stop sending direct mail and email appeals to the major donors? He says there are only two reasons to take major donors out of the direct response solicitation stream: The donor asked you to stop mailing or e-mailing appeals. And he emphasizes: “Over time, as the relationship builds , the communication strategy migrates or skews toward personal solicitation vs. mail or email.

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Comfort For Direct Mail Fundraisers

The Agitator

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. In a similar vein, they feel strongly that a lot of online information can’t be trusted, and, in fact, consumers in both nations trust information received by mail more than online.&#.

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? Plus he quotes one of my other favorite fundraising bloggers, Jeff Brooks. Direct mail is not a medium that rewards meekness. Tom Ahern.

Speaking Up For Mail

The Agitator

Bonnie Catena of Amnesty USA offered this comment, which I thought deserved your attention … “All great food for thought as we continue to wade through the plethora of media options we fundraisers have for donor communication, stewardship and solicitation. 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.)

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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. They were so proud: they had an 8-page direct mail appeal that broke records.

Direct Mail … You Know You Like It!

The Agitator

OK, we’ve devoted most of this week to ‘alternative’ fundraising … peer-to-peer and email fundraising. Time to end the week with a simple reminder about old-fasioned direct mail. Who reading this post doesn’t enjoy receiving real mail? Direct mail premium

Retention Mailings Up

The Agitator

The Agitator is gratified by this report from Fundraising Success indicating that retention mailings have grown by 16% from 2010 to 2011. As Ethan Boldt observes: “…fundraisers are putting more emphasis on keeping the donors they have on their rolls.” He also notes that expire mailings also went up 7%. ” Hallelujah! Check our postings under 'donor retention'.].

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Raising Money with Direct Mail and Donor Newsletters

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

He’s so smart and so practical, and he tells it like it is, all while still being a nice, supportive guy — which makes him a perfect partner for our Nonprofit Marketing Guide e-clinics on print fundraising for small nonprofits. Tom Ahern. I love Tom Ahern to bits.