Direct mail can be very beneficial for nonprofit organizations looking to increase their fundraising. There are 3 factors that determine the success of your direct mail campaign. 40% is the list. 40% is the offer or cause. And 20% is the creative. Test each one to find what works best.

Direct mail is more costly than sending out an email due to printing, mailing and postage costs, but if you can increase your ROI to cover that cost it can be well worth it.

  • Direct mail is more targetable than email. Unlike most other media you can select your target audience and deliver your message directly to their home or office.

  • Direct mail is more personal. Your offer can be customized to the recipient’s known behaviors.

  • Most people perceive mail as more personal and important than other media.

  • Mail is tangible and includes a response device. All direct mail is dimensional and the recipient interacts with it in both a visual and a tactile way.

  • Unlike email, the recipient can’t just hit delete to make your message disappear. Your donors and prospects respond to different types of media. Many will prefer the personal touch of mail.

  • According to recent USPS research: Two-thirds of Americans view traditional mail as more personal than internet communications and say mail is more private than email. 68% of Americans say mail is more secure than internet communications.

In direct mail your list is the most important part. Obviously, the best list is your list of current donors.

  • Don’t forget to occasionally solicit lapsed donors. Consider telemarketing to those audiences in addition to mail.

  • Keep your donor mailing lists up to date. Obsolete data not only costs you money spent on undeliverable or misdirected mail, but can cause lost donations and can impact donor goodwill.

  • Studies have found that on average, up to 20% of records within a typical house file are undeliverable. By keeping your data current, you will save on printing, mailing and postage costs.

The USPS now requires you to comply with their Move Update regulations by updating your lists every 95 days. There are several important list hygiene tools available to help keep your data clean and accurate.

  • National Change of Address (NCOA) for new addresses of people who have moved.

  • Dedupe, so that you are not sending multiple pieces to the same address.

  • Deceased recipient purging, removing anyone who has been reported as recently deceased, can be a great asset as your list of donors are aging.

Finding good lists of prospective donors can be hard. Here are a few ideas you can try.

  • Trade lists other nonprofits in your area. Make sure to code the lists when you send them out so that you know who responded from what list.

  • You can find targeted prospect lists by looking for individuals who are sympathetic to your mission and have the capacity to give. By utilizing available list targeting tools it is possible to find prospects that most closely resemble your best donors.

  • You can customize a list to your specific cause and overlay demographic and psychographic intelligence onto your donor data.

  • Another option is to profile you donor list. Sophisticated list profiling is now a reality. Through a powerful array of new market segmentation tools you can profile the unique characteristics of your best donors and identify and target new prospects most like them. The results can boost your direct response rate, increase your market penetration, and dramatically improve your fundraising ROI. Eye/Comm can show you how.

Learn 20 Ways To Reduce  Postage Costs

Something else that Nonprofits should take note of, if you are mailing raffle tickets: The United States Postal Service (USPS) is strictly enforcing regulations on mailing raffle tickets. If you plan to mail raffle tickets for a fundraiser, you must meet certain requirements or USPS could legally refuse to accept your direct mail. While it is legal to include advertising for a raffle, including a raffle or lottery ticket in a mailing is strictly prohibited unless you follow USPS guidelines. To avoid potential problems USPS requires the ticket makes clear that no payment is required to enter a raffle. The following elements should appear on each ticket in a mailing:

  1. Use the wording “suggested donation” before the price of the ticket.
  2. Use the wording “no donation required to enter” or add a check box “Please enter my name in the drawing. I do not wish to make a donation at this time.”

An alternative is to not include a ticket in the mailing. It is legal to advertise a raffle by mail, but you should still use the phrase “suggested donation” if you list the price of a ticket on the advertisement. Send us a pdf or sample of any raffle ticket before you print and we will alert you to any potential problems. or call 619-448-6111.