In the age of social media and digital marketing, many people think of direct mail as a relic of a bygone era. With online giving platforms and software, why should you invest in a direct mail fundraising campaign?
According to industry statistics, although people may claim to generally find direct mail marketing campaigns annoying, they still work. In fact, direct mail fundraising campaigns have been shown to drive digital donations, and it is actually a poor online user experience that is more likely to deter a donor from making a contribution to your cause or nonprofit organization. Not only do direct mail campaigns help to drive online donations and user engagement (assuming your website is doing its job), but the donor demographics might surprise you.
Because direct mail is a more traditional, pre-internet age industry, it would be easy to assume that it is most effective with older generations of donors. But the truth is that millennials and Generation X members claim to donate online as a result of direct marketing in equal numbers, at roughly 50 percent. Baby boomers and members of the Greatest Generation say they are likely to donate online as a result of a direct mail campaign 26 percent and 14 percent of the time, respectively.
Rather than replacing traditional direct mail campaigns, online fundraising platforms and channels work in tandem with direct mail to create an effective fundraising and donation funnel. According to the Network for Good, small nonprofits in particular should take a layered approach to fundraising campaigns with direct mail and online channels by following a few basic steps:
Simply put, direct mail marketing still works. It allows you to target and qualify leads and measure ROI in a way that other marketing tactics do not. But as technology and digital marketing continue to disrupt traditional industries, incorporating the best practices of both will ensure the most successful outcomes for your fundraising campaigns.