10 Tips to Raise More Money by Mail
Think Traditional Mail is Dead? Think Again
Direct mail is alive and well, and still one of your organization’s most important fundraising tools. According to a Direct Marketing Association report, direct mail often delivers 60-80% of total fundraising revenue, depending on the nonprofit organization. (For comparison, email provides between 5-15%!)
How are you optimizing your direct mail to reach more donors and raise more money for your cause?
10 Tips to Raise More Money By Mail
- Segment your mailing list and mail personalized letters to specially targeted groups. For example, instead of mailing the same letter to your entire mailing list, divide your list into categories like past donors, new prospects, or current donors, and write your letters in a way that speaks to each individual group.
- Plan ahead by scheduling all mailings for the entire year, accounting for everything from design and writing to printing and mailing. Be timely and relevant—send a mailing in honor of Doctors’ Day or National Hospice month, for example.
- Find ways to communicate with or “touch” your donors even when you’re not asking for money. This could be in the form of a monthly newsletter or social media outreach.
- Send a follow-up letter a few weeks after your appeal letter. This helps secure the donor’s gift and plays up the urgency of their donation.
- Make new donors feel welcomed and appreciated. Consider thank-you or acknowledgment letters and other communications to celebrate your new partnership. This will entice them to renew again.
- Drive people online, too. According to MobileCause, 35% of donors say they prefer to respond to direct mail by giving online. Consider sending follow-up emails with unique landing pages for gift giving, and be sure to add your website URL to all mailings for people who prefer to give online.
- Make your mailing work for you. All mailings should include four important pieces: the solicitation or appeal letter, a reply or pledge card, a return envelope for the reply card, and an outer envelope.
- Less is more when it comes to your reply. Limit the amount of information you request from your donor on your reply card or donation site. The less complicated the process, the greater the chances of donating.
- Test, test, test—then tweak your mailings as needed. There’s only one way to find out what works and what doesn’t. Test variables like envelope teaser vs. no teaser, letter length, and design style to improve your response rates over time.
- Rely on a marketing firm or mailing house that knows what they’re doing. It may cost more up front, but you’ll save in the long run with greater efficiency and better results!