Have We Found the Recipe for Fundraising Success?



Andrew Fegley takes a really interesting look at the rapid evolution direct mail is undergoing in his article, How Chief Marketing Officers Can Innovate With Direct Mail, on Entrepreneur.com.

Data and technology are being used in new and exciting ways we hadn’t dreamed possible just ten or fifteen years ago. I wrote a little bit about one example of this in my last blog.

As Andrew notes, we’re constantly improving how we use data to appeal to the right people.

Targeted and personalized fundraising is a win-win for everyone involved: 

Donors hear from the organizations they’re interested in.

Organizations raise more money for their causes.

Fewer people receive mail they don’t want.

And everyone saves money because there’s less waste.

Andrew also compares direct mail head-to-head with digital marketing. 

It wasn’t too long ago a lot people thought direct mail would go the way of the dinosaurs. Now trendy, cutting-edge organizations and companies -- the ones you’d expect to market almost exclusively online -- are launching massive direct mail campaigns and are having huge success. 

While direct mail is still top dog when it comes to raising money, the most optimized campaigns also incorporate digital methods, like social media or online advertising, in support. Each technique strengthens the others. 

This fusion of traditional direct mail with online content creates a marketing loop where we can appeal to donors in a natural and un-intrusive way.

Marketing Loop - incorporating both direct mail and digital content

Marketing Loop - incorporating both direct mail and digital content

Direct mail can funnel prospective donors or customers to an organization’s website. After looking at the website, Andrew’s data tells us a person is much more likely to convert when she receives another direct mail letter soon afterwards.

A social media account can interact with supporters of an organization and direct people to a webpage where they can sign up for a mailing list, allowing them to enter the marketing loop.

Traditional and digital marketing are most powerful when used in tandem.

Andrew finds digital marketing’s convenience, one of its clear strengths, to be a reason why some companies and organizations believe they can skip utilizing direct mail. 

With a few clicks of the mouse, an organization’s mission can be shared with people across the world -- but, as Andrew observes, the easiest option doesn’t always produce the best results. 

Though it requires a greater commitment of time, planning, testing, and tweaking, direct mail is proven to work as the backbone of fundraising campaigns.

A comprehensive marketing plan, built on direct mail with digital marketing in support, is a recipe for success.