Why non profits should use direct mail for fundraising

A solid development plan used to rise and set around direct mail, and while there are many new fundraising channels available today, direct mail can and should still be an important part of your plan

 

Why is direct mail important for non-profits?

  • Direct mail marketing helps you find potential donors. Targeted mailing lists can help your nonprofit to find new donors that fit your organization’s ideal demographics. Mailing lists can target by location, gender, income, etc.
  • Direct mail marketing keeps you in contact with your current donors. When you send out direct mail, you are reminding them of your organization and keeping it in the forefront of their mind. This also helps you to keep up-to-date database information on your donors, so you are aware if they have a change of address.
  • You can let your donors know what your organization’s current needs are. Is there something specific your organization needs to purchase? Is there something that needs immediate financial attention? Let your donors know your needs in a visually and emotionally appealing way.

 

Tips on creating direct mail marketing pieces for fundraising:

  • Suggest donation amounts on your mail piece (i.e. $100 _______ $50 ________ $25 _______ Other: _________). You can list benefits of each to make it more effective. (i.e. $100 will allow an underprivileged child to attend summer camp. $50 will provide an underprivileged child a tutor for a month.)
  • Thank your donor for their last gift and tell them why their next gift will help your organization.
  • Create multiple options for giving. Can they give online? Over the phone? Include this information on your mailing.
  • Include the reminder that their donation is tax deductible.
  • Drive an emotional connection by personal stories of how their donations benefit real people.
  • Make sure to include the option of updating their mailing address, adding an email address, etc.
  • Be sure your mailing is appealing to the eye, and don’t forget to always include your organization’s logo and information.

Do you need help creating an effective direct mail fundraising piece? At Pel Hughes, our team of expert graphic designers can help!

4 tips to increase ROI on direct mail

Direct mail is pretty cool.

Haven’t heard anyone bust that one out in a while?

Well, we just did.

Direct mail, while not as popular as it once was, is still a powerful tool to get a message into the hands of your audience. In fact, the Direct Marketing Association found direct mail response rates can actually be 10 to 30 times higher than that of digital.  

 

So how can you capitalize on that statistic?

Do direct marketing better.

Keep reading to discover our top 4 techniques to increase your ROI on direct mail.

 

 

  • Make a good list

 

You’ve heard it countless times, but we’ll go ahead and say it again: no matter how good your message is, it’s worthless if it doesn’t find its way to the right people.

That’s why mailing lists matter. Paying attention to demographics like age, income, gender, etc all contribute to building a list full of people likely to respond to your call to action, so never skimp on this.

Also, keep in mind that lists need to constantly be updated and monitored.

Don’t have a mail list? Ask us how to purchase a list that will work for you, and help you build your customer base.

 

 

  • Make your call to action obvious

 

Ah, another fun piece of marketing jargon – the ever important “call to action,” or CTA as they say in the biz. This is what you want your reader to do. For direct mail, the call to action is incredibly important. If you’re sending a piece of mail into someone’s home, you better be giving them some specific instructions, or you’re just wasting your money.

To make the CTA obvious, it’s also important to make the language on your direct mail clear, descriptive, and straight to the point. If you want someone to visit your website, don’t just list the URL – tell them to visit your website. Same goes for phone numbers. Tell people exactly what their next step should be.

 

 

  • Align the direct mail piece with your brand

 

Grabbing your customers’ attention should never mean sacrificing brand consistency.

It is massively important to infuse your direct mail piece with your unique value proposition and the essence of your brand. That means choosing the right type of mailing medium and sticking with the tone, energy, and general style used in any of your other marketing communications.

For example, if you’re selling a product or service that comes with a high price tag, you might consider higher quality paper and packaging to communicate this distinction. American Express mailers (and most credit card mailings) serve as fantastic examples of high quality direct mail. They send their “invitations” to new card membership in sleek, heavy weight paper envelopes. No “SIGN UP TODAY” or “LOW RATES HERE” messages adorn the envelopes, and it’s not hard to figure out why…

Tacky is not their angle – subtlety is. Exclusivity.

Nuts that paper can communicate all that, right? Think about it the next time you put together a DM campaign.

 

 

  • Don’t insult your audience’s intelligence

 

Think of direct mail as a back and forth between your brand and someone else. Don’t knock them over the head with cringeworthy claims like “HOTTEST NIGHT CLUB IN TOWN” or a double whammy bold and italic message with exclamation points!!!

It just looks like you’re desperate, and desperate is not cute on anyone.

No one is impressed by the bold claims and the aggressive text, so stick with a message that derives its power from relevance and value rather than sheer force.

Easy enough, right?

The key to a successful direct mail campaign might not be as elusive as you think. With the right mix of research, sophistication, and creativity, you’ll be well on your way to bringing in some major ROI.

Myths about direct mail

Let’s talk about Direct Mail.

You might have some notions about the age old promotional method, but today we’re going to do some truth telling and clear up any of those misgivings. By the end of this blog post, we hope  you see Direct Mail’s crazy potential to help your business grow.

Here we go…

First of all, there are a ton of myths around Direct Mail. People love to say that Direct Mail is too hard, too expensive, totally dead as a method of reaching out to consumers, and that Digital Marketing is the only way to go.

But we just don’t agree, and we’ll tell you why.

 

Myth 1: Direct Mail is too hard

Actually, Direct Mail is easy. Especially when someone else is doing the heavy lifting (i.e. us!)

Here’s how we make it easy:

We’ll set up the program.

You supply the artwork, or we’ll set it up using your creative assets and data. Then we’ll create a marketing automation, CRM (customer relationship management) report, or outbound object that contains the personalization data for your segment. The team here at Pel Hughes will then set up an automated process to move the data to Pel Hughes’ network.

Next?

We run the data, generate an address list, and mail your pieces!

 

Myth 2: Direct Mail is too expensive

To that we say: focus on the ROI on your marketing investment. Don’t just look at costs.  

The bottom line is that the ROI on Direct Mail outperforms every medium except emailing to an engaged list.

According to Target Marketing’s 2013 Annual Media Usage Forecast, Direct Mail yields higher ROI than email and all other individual media in B2C channels. Specifically, Direct Mail results in a 31% return on investment in B2C channels while email only results in 17% return on investment.

 

Myth 3: Direct Mail is Dead

While it’s true that Direct Mail has declined in the last decade, marketers are keeping it in the mix with their other forms of targeted marketing.

Why?

Because it takes a lot of touchpoints to make a sale, and people are overloaded with information every day. Research shows that print is the best way to get your message across.

Why? Print provides..

  • QUALITY experience.
  • Works in MULTI-CHANNEL marketing campaigns and programs
  • Highly TARGETED.
  • PERSONALIZABLE and RELEVANT.
  • Has a LONG SHELF LIFE.
  • 65% of consumers have made a PURCHASE as a result of Direct Mail.
  • PROVEN EFFECTIVE for LEAD GENERATION and customer RETENTION.
  • Integrated Campaigns with Direct Mail
  • Studies consistently show that Direct Mail is effective, particularly when combined with other channels.

 

Myth 4: Digital Marketing is the only way to go

The common perception is that digital marketing outperforms traditional marketing. However, digital marketing effectiveness is based on providing a highly relevant message at the right time.

After all, the main challenge with marketing these days is the sheer amount of clutter in an average person’s life, and digital variable data printing enables personalization that provides a targeted, highly relevant message.

 

Final Thoughts and Interesting Stats:  

  • 78% of people consider Direct Mail valuable or interesting, mail related to retail and 40% of valued mailings combined information and advertising
  • 60% of people say that mail kept product/service top of mind
  • 60% of people say that Direct Mail reminded them about a brand or company
  • Only 28% of people consider receiving Direct Mail ads of promotion extremely negative, compared with the 76% for telemarketing calls, 63% for pop up online advertisement and 48% for auto-playing online video advertisements.
  • Advertising mail is kept for 17 days on average
  • 54% of people engaged with social media as a direct result of receiving Direct Mail
  • The average mail response increase to 25% if it is combined with email

 

Still think direct mail is a waste of time? Contact us and we’ll talk about how to integrate Direct Mail into your next campaign.

 

 

 

 

Integrate Social Media with Direct Mail

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Staying in touch with existing clients and reaching out to new clients is a vitally important task for any business owner. A business owner needs to bring in new clients and continue to provide value for the current customers. In the last few years alone, many new ways have been developed to accomplish this goal. Business owners today need to be aware of such methods as well how to use standard methods at the same time. A business owner who is able to successfully integrate social media with direct mail methods is one who will continue to flourish.

Get Personal

One of the best ways to integrate any social media and direct mail effort is via personalization. Customers tend to respond well to messages that are personalized to them. Building social media means building relationships with others. Any company should be aware of their client’s special circumstances including where they live and their specific preferences. Clients like mailings targeted to the interests they have shown to the world via social media.

Provide Benefits

An effective direct mail campaign is one that provides clients with special benefits just for them. Think about the kind of benefit you can offer your clients. Maybe access to a fashion show just for them or a certain amount off products they buy. Clients respond well to such benefits.

Publicize Your Direct Mail Efforts

Use your Facebook, LinkedIn account and other social media accounts to announce your direct mail campaign. Let your clients know what they can expect when they reach out to you and get mailings from your business. A direct mailing campaign should take advantage of all social media possibilities that exist right now. A well thought out media campaign should use all tools at the same time.

Interactive print? Is that even possible?

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When it comes to print ads, there are thousands of different ideas and concepts that can be employed and used. How do you make your print interactive? Though it may seem like interactive print is something that is unattainable, it is far easier than you might imagine. Here are three ways that you can make your print interactive and really get your readers and viewers involved.

 

1    QR Codes- Everyone has smart phones these days, something that proves as a distinct advantage to the individual or the company that is using print ads. A QR code is a block code that can be read by QR readers on smart phones. These codes can lead your viewers to websites, other content, videos, other advertisements, and so much more. These codes are easy to make, easy to use, and incredibly fun.  Put them on a postcard, for example, leading scanners right to your corporate website!

 

2    Purpose Driven Ads- Another great way to amp up the interactivity of your ad is to create an ad that can be used for something else; an ad that has a purpose. This could be something as simple as an ad that has perforated edges and can be popped up to create a 3d ad, to something as complicated as an ad that can be made into something else. This will allow companies to make their print ad and convey the information they need while creating an ad that is fully interactive and completely memorable.

3    Wired Ads- There is a whole new genre of this, that is fully interactive because it has been wired. This means that the ad actually does something. It could be anything from playing music, to reading a message or changing the color of a picture. Whatever it is, these ads will be highly interactive. While they can be great, they do sometimes cause problems and tend to be more expensive.

 

By following these tips, your company will become a creative and memorable business. Remember: Interactive ads are a thing of today, not a thing of the future.

Improving Response Rates from Your Mailing Campaigns

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Mailing campaigns are an important marketing and advertising strategy, but it can become too costly when response rates are low.  To improve response rates for your mailing campaign, follow these easy tips.

Find Your Target Audience

Because mailers are not the cheapest form of marketing, it is crucial to find your target audience. When mailers are sent to the right people at the right time, they are highly effective at creating leads or sales. Sending out fewer mailers to highly targeted audience will often have better response results than sending out higher volumes of mailers to a poorly targeted audience.

Consider Using Postcards

Mail that has to be opened is often thrown away before the recipient has a chance to see what great offer awaits them. The advantage of using a postcard is that all the information you want to convey is readily available.

Make a Response Easy

People prefer to respond to mail offers in different ways so make every option available. Include a form for a mail response, a phone number, a web address for online responses and an invitation to any social media sites you use.

Use Easy-to-Understand Language

Because a mailer is a paper version of a sales person, the tone should be conversational. Avoid using technical terms or industry jargon in order to make the recipient feel comfortable with your offer.

Highlight the Benefits of Your Product

Emphasize what is most important to the potential customer. Make it very clear what solutions your product or offer have for the customer. People generally are not interested in anything that does not directly benefit them.

Track Your Efforts

To continually improve your response rates, make sure you are thoroughly tracking each mailing campaign. Use the data to find trends and learn what works and what doesn’t.

How to save money using direct mail

No other advertising platform has stood the test of times better than direct mail marketing. Below are some tips to get your campaign started.

1. Start out with a standard template.

Templates create the foundation for all your mail campaigns and are as easy to use as personalized business letterheads, envelopes and stationary. This template should include all the basic information including your contact and location plus an interesting design/logo to catch the prospective client’s attention. Make the template easy to edit and update by creating certain areas where you can easily make the necessary changes. For instance, you can have your basic info and design, then have four ‘text boxes’ formatted to easily remove or add text and pictures as you need them. This way you can use your template again and again.

2. Use EDDM

Every Door Direct Mail allows you to work smart instead of hard. This is a mail service where small businesses get direct mail discounts without the hassle of getting permits or using application forms. EDDM goes straight to the post office and is distributed to local clients from there. This marketing tool is a powerful service that deals with a broad area without focusing on demographics. EDDM is an effective medium used to distribute newsletters, flyers and postcard by retail stores, grocery stores and lawn care companies because it’s great advertising at a lower cost.

3. Keep Up With Existing Customers.

Pare down your mailing list to target existing clients. These are the best customers to work with as they are familiar with your product and are interested enough to patronize your business. Sending postcards and newsletters keep your business alive while acting as a reminder to your present clientele. Many small companies lose business not because of poor service, but because their customers forget about them. Think radio advertising; a constant audio reminder of what customers want – direct mail has the same power.

Compelling Direct Mail Designs

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The key to a successful direct mail design will always include a few important elements. Arguably the most important, however, is that the content must be compelling in the first place. If you plug all of the appropriate information into a direct mail design template and send your message off to your mailing list, you won’t stand a chance of making it past a reader’s inbox if you aren’t giving them something worth reading. To help make sure that your direct mail design is as compelling as possible, there are a few key things you need to keep in mind.

Urgency and Call to Action

One of the most important things that you can do when creating a compelling direct mail design is to create a sense of urgency in the copy as a whole. Inform the reader of the problem that they’re currently having that can be solved by the product or service that you’re offering. Entice the reader to want to learn more about how your company can fit into their lives and make it better than it was before.

At the end of the message, you also need to make sure to include a call to action to let your reader know what to do next. This can be as simple as including your phone number so the reader can get in touch, or can even involve adding a link to your website where the reader can find out more information.

Brevity

Another important factor that you’ll want to consider is one of brevity. Keep your sentences as short as possible while still being direct and to the point. Use a lot of white space and embrace bulleted lists with active words, as these are great tools for readers who want to skim your mailing but still need all of the important information.

So long as you make sure to include a few key elements, you’ll have a direct mail design that will improve your responses in a significant way.

Myths About Direct Mail

A variety of myths are associated with marketing strategies, including the use of direct mail in your marketing. The problem with myths is that they tend to grow over time and it can be hard to separate the truth from the myths. By understanding some of the myths associated with direct mail, it is easier to create a realistic marketing strategy.

Copying Others Will Work

It is a myth that using the same strategies, color combinations and marketing solutions as a successful business with provide the same reasons. Your company is unique, and that means you must focus on a marketing strategy that is created for your business.

Do not copy the strategies of another company. Use that as an example, but change it up and focus on your goals as a company.

Focusing on Results Will Improve Sales

Although you do want to mention the product or service that you are trying to sell, do not focus solely on the details. For example, if you are selling a hammer, then don’t go into detail about how the hammer works. Instead, give a picture of the hammer and a few words. It is a myth that several details will make it easier to sell your products or services. It can actually cause more problems if the target audience is not an enthusiast for the products you sell.

Direct Mail Cannot be Recycled

It is a myth that brochures, flyers or other forms of direct mail cannot be recycled. Most of the materials used in direct mail are recyclable.

The myths associated with direct mail can focus on sales, the results or even the materials that are used. In most cases, the myths associated with sales or the growth of the company are misunderstandings or assumptions, but they can cause confusion when you are trying to create a realistic marketing strategy.

Should Your Company Be Using Direct Mail?

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The marketing strategies that work best for any company depend on the dynamics of the business, but direct mail is a useful way to capture the attention of potential customers. Most companies can benefit from using direct mail, regardless of the products or services that are provided by the business.

Focusing on the Target Audience

A key reason that direct mail works for any business is that it focuses on a particular group or target audience. That means that you are only sending out mail to appropriate individuals on your mailing list or in a particular area.

Targeted marketing is an effective way to obtain new customers because the flyer, brochure or coupons that you are sending out are reaching people who need the products or services that you provide.

Adding Personal Elements

The problem that many companies can face is providing a personal element to the business. If your company is struggling with personalization, then direct mail can be a realistic solution. When you send out a postcard, you can put the name of the individual at that address. It automatically makes the advertisement more personal and reaches out to individuals who may feel that businesses are lacking a personal touch.

Easy Measurements

The personal element and the targeted mailing is only the beginning. Direct mail is also easy to measure based on the number of homes that receive the mail. You can determine the effectiveness of your marketing strategy based on the inquiries and sales that you receive.

Every business can benefit from direct mail, but the decision to implement the strategy depends on your goals and your understanding of how the process works. Direct mail is an effective way to reach your target audience with an element of personalization, and it can help improve your sales.

[Source: USPS]