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Our top 4 ways to help you make your direct mail work

Success is in the data

Pareto’s recommendation is to better leverage data analysis and its insights to shift budget resources away from volume-based fundraising into strategies that sustain and grow more generous support from a smaller number of donors.

In the short-term, lower mailing volumes may affect fundraising income (although improve fundraising efficiency).

But direct mail, when used strategically to target mid and high-level donors and potential bequestors, will provide a lifetime giving value that will more than compensate for the short-term financial hit.

The take out: It’s critical to keep your donor database clean, manageable, up to date – and useable.

Have a donor journey program in place

With Pareto Benchmarking showing that second gift rates for new cash donors across all channels is just 17%, improving second gift rates is critical.

Donors need a compelling case and evidence of measurable results after giving in order to want to stay loyal longer and give more generously.

So, if charities make the case for ‘extraordinary need’, provide information on the impact, invite donors to see their work first-hand and where possible, engage in designated or restricted giving, they will deliver the strategies to donors that will, effectively, reduce expense and increase revenue.

The take out: Use direct mail to nurture interest, and keep your donors engaged and delighted.

Do lots and lots of testing

The charities that will continue to make direct mail work will test constantly to determine the strongest and most tangible fundraising propositions. And then use those insights to target the right donor audience.

By testing things like alternative lists, offers, packages, or other techniques, you can make incremental improvements in results over time. And measure the long-term impact of any changes that you make on retention and gift value.

The take-out: Testing is the only way to drive value from one of direct mail’s biggest advantages. You can measure its results.

Remember it’s a multi-channel world out there

We know today that there’s no one silver bullet. It’s not direct mail OR email, it’s not email OR social and it’s not social OR mobile.  Communication with donors is the most effective when you integrate channels.

Your donors are now moving seamlessly between the direct mail and digital worlds. And that’s why you can’t rely only on traditional direct mail fundraising techniques alone – like the traditional RM (response mechanism) in your mail pack.

Donors now expect to be offered a variety of choices for gift transaction every time they consider making a donation. And you need to expect that they will not be consistent from one transaction to the next.

The take-out: With direct mail driving the initial engagement, your donors should have the ability to seamlessly link to all communication channels. Are your messages clear and consistent across all of them?

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