DIRECT MAIL IS ALIVE
AND WELL!
by Rebecca Gregory, Executive Vice President, Client Strategy

Stand at the back of any non...
The Problem
According to a 2012 Direct Marketing Association report—and supported by our own client
results—direct mail co...
For multichannel communication to work effectively, messages must be carefully
coordinated to support one another. For ins...
Another efficient cross-channel
pathway involves the use of pURLs
(personalized web addresses) in a
direct mail appeal or ...
and more than double the average revenue for the organization.
Another truth: The more specific the asks, the better the r...
channel. These two generations provide far and away the greatest amount of revenue for
nonprofits at this time.
But these ...
several gifts over a lifetime, but major donors who come in through other
channels more often give single gifts.

By desig...
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Direct mailsaliveandwell

  1. 1. DIRECT MAIL IS ALIVE AND WELL! by Rebecca Gregory, Executive Vice President, Client Strategy Stand at the back of any nonprofit association meeting, fundraising conference, or marketing convention, and you’ll hear comments like these . . . “Direct mail is SO yesterday. How many times a day are you tweeting?” “We cut our direct mail budget by 70 percent to focus on text-to-give and social media.” “Have you taken advantage of Pinterest yet? We decided to skip our April mailings in order to budget for a Pinterest launch and content.” DALLAS I CHICAGO I NEW YORK I 214-866-7700 I pursuant.com
  2. 2. The Problem According to a 2012 Direct Marketing Association report—and supported by our own client results—direct mail consistently performs as the most cost-effective and wide-reaching broad-based fundraising method. Take a look at the numbers. Depending on the nonprofit organization, the direct mail channel often delivers between 60 and 80 percent of total revenue. The email channel provides between 5 and 15 percent. On average, direct mail response rates stand at 10 to 30 times that of email, and even higher when compared to online display.1 However, traditional direct mail no longer stands alone. If we’re going to reach and cultivate our donors in this fast-paced, Internet-savvy, social-media-focused culture, then speaking to them in the most effective way possible is critical. It’s time to add to our fundraising repertoire, not replace it. It’s time to evolve. Direct Mail Drives Effective Multichannel Communication Done well, integrating communication streams across multiple channels will positively increase both donor response and total revenue. Period. We’ve seen the same results time and time again. On average, donors who give in multiple channels (e.g., via mail and online) provide 100+ percent more total revenue than single-channel givers. The reason is simple: When donors interact with an organization across multiple channels—whether by email, Web, direct mail, social media, or other means—they build a deeper, more personal relationship. Every interaction increases the donor’s lifetime value. But for multichannel communication to work effectively, we must use the appropriate channel for the appropriate donor at the appropriate time. Messages must be linked, timed, and branded. An integrated approach will reinforce your message and give donors multiple outlets through which to give. Five Quick Keys to Effective Multichannel Communication Strategic Thoughtful and planned Consistent Integrated Congruent Reflects a common message or theme Anticipates and drives cross-channel giving Works within the strengths of each channel Intentional Drives toward stated goals DALLAS I CHICAGO I NEW YORK I 214-866-7700 I pursuant.com
  3. 3. For multichannel communication to work effectively, messages must be carefully coordinated to support one another. For instance, include a link to a campaign microsite in a direct mail piece, and then use online behavior and interests to personalize a follow-up phone call. Another key: branding is paramount. All communications from every channel must contribute to the brand, speak to the mission, or represent the vision of the organization. Cross-Channel Communication • Strategic: Thoughtful and planned • Consistent: Reflects a common message or theme • Integrated: Anticipates and drives cross-channel giving • Congruent: Works within the strengths of each channel • Intentional: Drives toward stated goals In every interaction across every channel, depending on how they engage, constituents should learn part of your story. Consider, for example, a direct mail letter that references a story of a young girl impacted by your organization. Use compelling copy to send the reader online to learn more of her story. Then post a video on your website or use other online content that tells how donor gifts are helping many girls like her. Once donors hear the rest of the story, offer them another chance to give. Be sure to include opportunities to share the story and donation link via social media. YES! Wycliffe Bible Translators P.O. Box 628200 Orlando, FL 32862-8200 Urgent I want to become a Wycliffe WordGiver! q Wycliffe WordGiver: I intend to give 9 $XX 9 $YY 9 $ZZ 9 $ ______ to the Wycliffe WordGivers Fund each month for the next year, beginning in June 2011. Largest Matching Gift Opportunity Ever! q 3-Month Summer Partner: I intend to give 9 $XX 9 $YY 9 $ZZ 9 $ ______ each month for the next three months, beginning in June 2011. q My e-mail address is: _________________________________________________ INSTRUCTIONS: 0000 My First Gift: June 2011 Place Stamp Here 0000000 000000000 000000000 Detach Here I will help support urgent Bible translation projects! Dear Bob, I want to accelerate Bible translation for millions of people in Cameroon and other parts of Africa, bringing God’s Word in the language of their hearts. Please use my gift to initiate Scripture translation projects for men, women, and children in 15 language groups. Wycliffe Bible Translators PO BOX 628200 ORLANDO FL 32862-8200 June 2011 Accelerating the Pace of Bible Translation Tel 866.736.4387 Fax 407.852.3601 www.wycliffe.org To give by credit card, please see the reverse side. If giving by check, please make it payable to “Wycliffe Bible Translators” and mail it to the address above. Contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law. Thank you for your support! 0000000 000000000 000000000 Detach Here Place Stamp Here My Second Gift: Detach Here I will help provide key tools for Bible translators! Enclosed is my gift of $________, above and beyond my missionary support, to be doubled by the Matching Gift up to $315,000. Mr. John Q. Sample KMA Direct Communications 7160 Dallas Parkway, Suite 400 Plano, TX 75024 Wycliffe Bible Translators PO BOX 628200 ORLANDO FL 32862-8200 Place Stamp Here July 2011 0000000 Tel 866.736.4387 Fax 407.852.3601 www.wycliffe.org 000000000 000000000 Detach Here My Third Gift: 3A0511 Wycliffe Bible Translators PO BOX 628200 ORLANDO FL 32862-8200 Detach Here I will help print completed Bible translations! August Next, at your direction, your gift will be used to equip mother-tongue translators by developing multi-level training programs that will improve key translation skills. Third, the Bakossi New Testament and two others will be printed. After years of hard work, these three New Testaments are ready to go to print. We are so close to crossing the finish line! With your help, we can print these Bibles and get them into the hands of those who are waiting eagerly to receive them. We are praying for supporters like you to fund each of these three areas. That’s why we are offering you two ways to take advantage of the Matching Gift: Dear Bob, I want to help Wycliffe Bible Translators print New Testaments for people groups around the world. Please use my gift to get God’s Word into the hands of the people in these people groups! Enclosed is my gift of $________, above and beyond my missionary support, to be doubled by the Matching Gift up to $315,000. Mr. John Q. Sample KMA Direct Communications 7160 Dallas Parkway, Suite 400 Plano, TX 75024 This coordinated multichannel campaign for Wycliffe Bible Translators includes all of these elements: First, if you so choose, your gift will allow us to move forward in Scripture translation projects in more than 21 people groups, reaching millions of people from Cameroon to the island nation of Vanuatu in the South Pacific. Many will hear the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ for the very first time! Wycliffe Bible Translators P.O. Box 628200 Orlando, FL 32862-8200 To give by credit card, please see the reverse side. If giving by check, please make it payable to “Wycliffe Bible Translators” and mail it to the address above. Contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law. Thank you for your support! 0000 “I read a text from the Gospel of Luke, and the people could hardly restrain their excitement. They held back from clapping and shouting only because they were in church! Many remarked it was the best thing they ever heard. The people experienced a new awakening, which they now want to experience always. Hearing the Word of God in their language gives the Bakossi people the feeling that God is their God.” We praise God for this breakthrough! Yet this is just one example of what God is doing all over the world as Bible translators carry out their life-transforming work. That’s why I’m writing to tell you about an opportunity to accelerate the pace of Bible translation for millions of people—including the Bakossi. This opportunity is a Matching Gift of $315,000. A group of Wycliffe partners is offering to double your gift as we target three specific areas, with your gift going to the area of your choice: Dear Bob, I want to take advantage of this Matching Gift to equip and train mother-tongue translators, supplying key tools and programs so they can provide God’s Word to those who have no Scriptures. 2A0511 Announcing our largest-ever Matching Gift of $315,000 to DOUBLE your response! Dear Mr. Sample, Wycliffe Bible Translators P.O. Box 628200 Orlando, FL 32862-8200 0000 July 2011 May 23, 2011 Mr. John Q. Sample KMA Direct Communications One Legacy Town Center 7160 Dallas Parkway, Suite 400 Plano, TX 75024 In the African nation of Cameroon—where the Lord allowed my wife Dallas and me to serve for eight years—overwhelming joy is sweeping through the Bakossi community. The Scriptures are becoming available in the language that speaks to their hearts—Akoose! Nkwelle Ngome Joseph, one of their mother-tongue translators, reports: Enclosed is my gift of $________, above and beyond my missionary support, to be doubled by the Matching Gift up to $315,000. Mr. John Q. Sample KMA Direct Communications 7160 Dallas Parkway, Suite 400 Plano, TX 75024 1A0511 August 2011 Mr. John Q. Sample KMA Direct Communications 7160 Dallas Parkway, Suite 400 Plano, TX 75024 Please fold and return this form, along with the voucher below, when you send in your June gift. 1) Become a Wycliffe WordGiver by giving monthly. Let God use you to bring His Word to the ends of the earth. (over, please) “Come here and listen, O nations of the earth. Wycliffe Bible Translators | P.O. Box 628200 | Orlando, FL 32862-8200 | Tel 866.736.4387 | Fax 407.852.3601 | www.wycliffe.org the world and everything in it hear my words.” Let Wycliffe Bible Translators P.O. Box 628200 Orlando, FL 32862-8200 Tel 866.736.4387 Fax 407.852.3601 www.wycliffe.org Isaiah 34:1, nlt To give by credit card, please see the reverse side. If giving by check, please make it payable to “Wycliffe Bible Translators” and mail it to the address above. Contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law. Thank you for your support! 0000 0000000 000000000 000000000 DALLAS I CHICAGO I NEW YORK I 214-866-7700 I pursuant.com
  4. 4. Another efficient cross-channel pathway involves the use of pURLs (personalized web addresses) in a direct mail appeal or invitation to drive donors to a website. From there, we’re able to communicate directly via email, track the responses, and then capture behavioral data. The key to success is a strategic, multistage engagement pathway. Donors can enter the communication stream via direct mail, email, online, or social media—it’s their choice—and they’re also given multiple opportunities depending on the available analytics. Communication with donors then continues according to what we learn about their preferences and behaviors. Use Data on the Front End to Inform Future Communication Data analysis—such as Pursuant’s Smart Data program—is designed to cultivate deeper, more relevant relationships. We capture donor behavior, attitudes, interests, demographics, and giving habits. We also segment donor groups based on their “lifetime value,” calculating the probable total revenue, giving frequency, and donation recency of givers. Each nugget of information becomes the basis for targeted communication. In simple terms, data reveals the who, the what, and the how . . . so we can test and track before we talk! Donors always respond positively to being known. They can smell inauthenticity a mile away! So if a donor is close to an organization and giving monthly, we need to speak to him or her with that in mind, clearly acknowledging and honoring the relationship. This increases the likelihood of a continuing relationship. On the other hand, if a donor lapsed 23 months ago, then offering our effusive thanks for his or her support will seem disingenuous. And the likelihood of a next gift . . . or any relationship at all . . . gets smaller and smaller. Kay Arthur Ce le IN IST RIES I NT E th From the Desk of Kay Arthur Mr. John Q. Sample KMA Direct Communications 7160 Dallas Parkway Suite 400 Plano, TX 75024 ONAL AT I PRECEPT M for the entire Precept team RN Pursuant KMA prepared a personalized, fully handwritten letter (using Genuine Pen) from Kay Arthur, cofounder of Precept Ministries International, for Precept’s monthly giving group and higher donor segments. Donors responded in droves as the package delivered triple the response rate brating 40 Years 197 0 2010 DALLAS I CHICAGO I NEW YORK I 214-866-7700 I pursuant.com
  5. 5. and more than double the average revenue for the organization. Another truth: The more specific the asks, the better the results. Some people might respond to visual images. Some might respond to storytelling. Some donors might be transactional; others might be more emotional. Some people want to receive shorter letters; others are interested in reading more. Simply put, we have to know our donors and speak to them thoughtfully while still paying attention to who they are as individuals. Choose the Optimal Communication Channels for Your Donors The “most effective” fundraising communication stream for a Gen-X art professor living in Wisconsin will certainly differ from what’s “most effective” for a retired pastor in Texas. Can you imagine how a brand-new university alumnus in California might need to receive a different message than a Baby Boomer accountant in New York City? How do donors first engage? Figure 9: How Donors Learned About Their Top Charity (Top Channel Cited Above) The research-based graphic above shows that a good percentage of every group of donors, except Generation Y, first comes into contact with a nonprofit organization through direct mail.2 The majority of Mature donors and Baby Boomers also give through the mail DALLAS I CHICAGO I NEW YORK I 214-866-7700 I pursuant.com
  6. 6. channel. These two generations provide far and away the greatest amount of revenue for nonprofits at this time. But these two generations are also communicating more and more through other channels. In fact, Baby Boomers spend nearly two hours per day online. And one in eight of those minutes are spent on Facebook. Ignoring these avenues translates to lost relationship opportunities! What about Generations X and Y? Social media, text messaging, word-of-mouth campaigns . . . all must work together to cultivate these donors using the means through which they speak. Ignore that and you might miss them altogether! But beyond these general observations, perhaps the most important fact is that constituents are fluid in their choice of channels. A donor may receive a direct mail piece and choose to give online, or vice versa. Donors who are acquired via one channel (e.g., the Web) may prefer to give via another (perhaps by mail). That’s why integration across channels is critical and, quite frankly, difficult to conclusively track. Pursuant’s Make Your Mark campaign for Pepperdine University brought together a variety of elements to reach across the donor pyramid with passionate storytelling in multiple channels. Keep in mind that the person who responds to your email campaign might never respond to your direct My 4 years at mail appeal or your Facebook Pepperdine are my post . . . but he or she might –Jane very well have read both. Every The Pepperdine Fund | Pepperdine University 24255 Pacific Coast Highway Malibu, California 90263 | pepperdine.edu/gi Class of ‘82The Pepperdine Fund | Pepperdine University || 24255 Pacific Coast Highway | |Malibu, California 90263 | pepperdine.edu/gi communication has value! The Make Your Mark banner will hang proudly at Pepperdine for years to come. It will be a symbol of pride and encouragement for our alumni and current students. INSTRUCTIONS 1. 2. 3. Please write your name and message on the enclosed fabric square so you can Make Your Mark and become part of our Pepperdine banner. Using the form below, choose your gift amount to help support Pepperdine University. Return both your gift and your fabric square in the enclosed envelope and return to Pepperdine University before October 13 to ensure you are included on the banner! Utilize Direct Mail as a HighDonor Cultivation Tool Get ready for two jaw-dropping, counterintuitive statistics.3 You may have to read them twice: 1. Among major donors, those who were initially cultivated through direct mail gave significantly more than those who made a major gift through a personal request or other channel. 2. Major donors cultivated on an ongoing basis through direct mail tend to give DALLAS I CHICAGO I NEW YORK I 214-866-7700 I pursuant.com
  7. 7. several gifts over a lifetime, but major donors who come in through other channels more often give single gifts. By designing innovative experiences that carefully integrate direct mail and other channels, we can cultivate our best donors, invite them to interact with us regularly, and even encourage them to recruit their contacts. The keys to reaching this audience are offering an engaging presentation while using meaningful personalization. For example, Pursuant has developed a Major Gift Prospector tool to provide high-level donors with a tangible link to the project we’re asking them to support. A full-color DVD package arrives in the mail with instructions to watch it on a computer. Once our personalized message begins, we’re able to track viewers and how much of the video they watch. Plus, we add a form for name acquisition at the end. Finally, we point them online for a giving opportunity. We’ve found this package—as well as other personal, integrated packages—to be a highly effective strategy with higher donor levels, whether we’re asking major donors for a highlevel gift, prioritizing a mid-level ask, or even cultivating planned giving opportunities. With these groups, well-crafted, thoughtful direct mail is key to continuing cultivation. But because these donors are deeply connected financially, they expect us to communicate with them on a personal, accountable level. Speak with care! Are You Making the Most of Your Mail Program? An effective fundraising strategy includes well-leveraged direct mail. But it’s not the oldschool stand-alone mailing from 20 years ago. To communicate with today’s donors, direct mail cannot be ignored! We use this integral, relevant tool in concert with other channels to drive exponential results at every level of the giving pyramid. For more information about using direct mail to its fullest potential as a part of your fundraising strategy, contact Pursuant today at 214-866-7700 or info@pursuantgroup.com. _________________________ Wurmser, Yory. Direct Marketing Association 2012 Report. Accessed via http://www.dmnews.com/dma-direct-mail-response-rates-beat-digital/article/245780/# on 2/23/12. 2 Bhagat, Vinay, Pam Loeb, and Mark Rovner, The Next Generation of American Giving: A Study on the Contrasting Charitable Habits of Generation Y, Generation X, Baby Boomers and Matures, March 2010, by Convio, Edge Research, and Sea Change Strategies, 8. 3 As per results from a long-term cross section of Pursuant clients. See also 2012 Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy, October 2012. Accessed via http://newsroom.bankofamerica.com/press-release/globalwealth-and-investment-management/2012-bank-america-study-high-net-worth-philant on 3/21/13. 1 DALLAS I CHICAGO I NEW YORK I 214-866-7700 I pursuant.com

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