It just doesn’t stand alone anymore.
When I tell people what I do – direct response marketing for non-profits – the easiest reference point to use is direct mail.
“You know those letters you get from charities that ask you for money? I put those together.”
The reaction I often get is shock that there’s still a business for that.
“People still give through the mail?!” people say, incredulous.
But those of us in fundraising know (I hope!) that direct mail continues to be the base of our Annual Giving programs.
Is it dead? Definitely not. Is it dying? Nope. BUT, it cannot stand alone.
So what does that mean?
It means that successful direct response fundraising programs are multi-channel and integrated. You communicate with your donors – and prospective donors – by mail, email, and phone. You invest in media buys, engaging donors on Facebook and Google. You create inspiring video content. You develop sophisticated landing pages.
The list goes on…
Look, I know your budgets are limited. But, direct mail will definitely seem to be dying if you’re relying on it as your only channel. You need to go where your donors are… and they’re everywhere.
So that’s multi-channel. But don’t think if you’re using different messages across different channels that you’re gonna have major success! It needs to be integrated.
You know what happens when it is? You know what happens when you use consistent creative and messaging across all channels?
You drive more giving.
If somebody sends your organization a cheque in the mail, it could be because your appeal was emotional and inspiring.
AND/OR it could be because they saw your video content before a YouTube video.
AND/OR they saw an ad on Facebook and it reminded them about that envelope from there favourite charity on their desk.
Integrated multi-channel fundraising.
HA! No, direct mail is definitely not dead.
Written by Maeve Strathy
Maeve is the Founder of What Gives Philanthropy and has been working in fundraising for over nine years. Click here to learn more about Maeve.