What a crazy time! One minute we are shutting everything down and focusing on staying home and healthy and the next minute, we are deemed an essential business in Tallahassee. The scenario in today’s time is so fluid, it’s hard to predict what is going to be expected.
What we can count on is that direct mail is a way to have donors, clients and members move to action. If you are a fundraiser, you might be wondering how this new situation will change your bottom line and if it will end your donor communications. Rest assured – direct mail can continue to perform for you as it has in other times of crises and downturns.
If you are trying to reschedule an event or reach an audience (say association members) direct mail will get their attention.
Reports last year from Blackbaud said that fewer than 9% of fundraising donations were given online.
Direct mail response rate for house lists was an incredible 9% – 10%. This is the highest number for house lists and this number has doubled from previous years. Just to compare, the response rate of email and social media alone is only 1%! What a difference.
According to Marketing Sherpa, 76% of consumers trust direct mail more than any other channel out there when they want to make a purchase decision. In fact, did you know that 57% of millennials have made a purchase based on direct mail?
As well, direct mail is an “easy on the eyes” to read. It’s a break from the screen as we are overloaded from digital circuits at home. Raising money for annual campaigns rely heavily on physical contact, printed content and a lasting presence. Direct mail has the ability to have donors act on their ‘call to action’ and will actually donate.
Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive efforts to process than digital media and leaves a higher brand recall. It’s easier and leaves a lasting impression on the reader. As well, it’s persuasive. Direct mail has a 20% higher motivation response rate over digital media.
As a mail house at Harvest Print, we do have a few recommendations. If you are a B2C marketer, we highly recommend you take advantage of this situation and provide direct mail offers that your consumers will use. With people being stuck at home, a well-designed and executed direct mail will be something a customer will read and have them looking forward to getting. However, if you are a B2B marketer, we recommend you hold off on any campaigns until your customers are back in the office. With many companies close and employees working from home, your direct mail piece may not get into the correct person’s hands. Consider other channels during this time to reach B2B customers.
If you are trying to reach donors with direct mail, on average, the response rate is about 10% which means 90% did not respond. You as a fundraiser, you don’t stop communicating because of the 90%! The best way to reach your donors is to keep communicating. Although during this pandemic, the response rate may drop, it’s important to stay connected and communicate about what your organization is doing. Maintain your current and ongoing relationships so that when COVID-19 is over, you are still connected.
Remember for all marketers, keep your direct mail message relevant. We are in a global crisis. If you skip over this, your message will seem out of touch and irrelevant. Make sure your message is timely, genuine and heart felt. This is a great time to highlight your mission of your organization. So many non-profits have amazing mission statements and goals. Make sure you let your audience know what your organization stands for and how you are helping in this time of need.
In short, we think you should advocate your mission, share deep gratitude and promote community.
Harvest Print also thinks you should refine your list. For example, for a house-file appeal to current donors, you should probably skip mailing to fewer lower dollar donors and concentrate of $100+ Donors or depending on your organization, those of higher giving frequency. Eliminate deeply lapsed donors. The main goal is to only mail to your most loyal and long-term advocated and those most likely to contribute.
Direct mail is such a powerful way to reach your clients whether they are current or potential. We here at Harvest Print want to make sure that business keeps moving forward appropriately and that mostly we are able to navigate through this pandemic together. As the country gets closer to reopening we should expect that marketers are planning and executing relevant campaigns to get our country moving again. If you have anything happening in your area, we would love to know! Please feel free to share them with us as we love to collaborate.
If you need more information on how to put together a successful direct mail campaign or just need someone to do it, visit our website at www.harvest-press.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here for you and would love to help!
2018, the direct mail response rate for house lists was an incredible 9%. This is also the highest number for house lists since the report started and is nearly double from the previous year. (Source: ANA/DMA Response Rate Report 2018)