Maximize Your Direct Mail Return with Variable Data

by | Jun 28, 2016

Yeah, This is a Big Deal

Did you know that direct mail still remains a vital tool for effective fundraising campaigns?

Print, as a communication channel, is effective because it’s durable, tangible, and inviting. With organizations competing for the same donor dollar, take your fundraising efforts to the next level with variable data printing (VDP).

VDP can help you customize your message to reach your target audience effectively and efficiently. This can be accomplished through personalizing each messaging piece for its recipient.

For example, personalization in its earliest form meant using a person’s name repeatedly throughout a letter or postcard.

With new technology, there are several cost-effective ways to incorporate relevant messaging into your direct mail communication pieces. Let’s walk through the steps!

Gather Donor Information

A successful VDP direct mail campaign requires an accurate and up-to-date database. Keep good records of your donor information by actively managing a customer relationship management (CRM) database. Through a categorizing process, you can strategically target your donors. The data you collect can inform you on the topics or issues that are most important to them.

Make a Connection

Imagine how you would react to a generic salutation like “Dear Friend.” Now, imagine your reaction to a letter personally addressed to you. By simply inserting a recipient’s first name into a donation letter, you could make a positive connection and entice the recipient to continue reading.

Explain Your Needs

After connecting with your audience, explain your organization’s needs. Push your audience to take the next step by including a pre-completed donation form that makes it easier for them to donate.

Make a Strategic Ask

Be sure to reference past contributions made by the individual before you make this year’s ask. Suggest a repeat donation or an increased donation amount, and explain how a gift of this size helps. This strategy is called “bumps.”

Improve Your Response Rates

Put together a plan to gradually enhance your database with the information you think best resonates with your audience. This will help you increase your response rates.


Effective fundraising communication uses both emotional and personalized messaging to speak directly to donors, and creates an intimate, meaningful experience. We can help you get started today! Give us a call at 800-669-1664 or click here.
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