Direct mail marketing is an effective and personal way to connect with your clients and customers. Check out our articles related to direct mail for fundraising and marketing below on the Paw Print Blog.
Personal. Reliable. Trustworthy. Useful. These are all words that have recently been used to describe direct mail. Direct mail is a powerful marketing and fundraising tool. A key to its success lies in tracking response and measuring results. If you have no way of knowing what a recipient does once they receive your mailer, you can’t know the true value that mailer holds for your target audience. So, what do we measure? And how do we make mail trackable and measurable? The following measurements and tracking strategies can apply to for profit businesses and nonprofit organizations alike.
One of the biggest reasons people don’t give is from a feeling of futility—how can my contribution really make a difference?
To turn this feeling around, you must show a donor how important they as an individual are to your cause. A personal way to do so that continues to get results is direct mail. A direct mail piece that sends the right message, to the right recipient, at the right time, is a compelling and effective way to connect with your target audience.
But what makes a powerful mail piece?
Let’s look at a recent appeal mailing from Giffords PAC, an organization working to end gun violence founded by former Congresswoman and shooting survivor Gabby Giffords.
While print and social media may compete for your marketing dollars, they don’t have to compete for your customers. In fact, using them together can make your marketing more effective. Let’s look at five ways print and social media can work together.
One of the biggest hurdles of direct mail? Getting people to open the envelope.
Postcards and self-mailers have the advantage of standalone, eye catching content. The graphics are immediately visible, compelling the recipient to read on.
But for many mail pieces, an envelope is essential. Using an envelope doesn’t have to be limiting, however. In fact, today’s printing technology allows envelopes to be more personalized and attractive than ever before. Customization turns envelopes from basic commodities to effective direct marketing tools.
Why Direct Mail?
In our digitally saturated world, direct mail stands out:
Consumers regularly rate direct mail as more personal than email
When we think about great direct mail results, we tend to think about the list, the message, and the call to action. However, things like the size, shape, and texture of the piece play a key role, too. Let’s look at five considerations for creating standout mail pieces.
Donor acquisition is one of the most important functions of nonprofit fundraising. Your donors make the good work you do possible. Without a regular and tactical practice of enlisting new donors , both socially and financially, your organization would be challenged to stay afloat.
It goes without saying that stewarding your current donor base is essential—they’re the ones who’ve continued to champion your cause and are more likely to give consistently, and grow their gifts, over time.
Conversely, compelling new donors to give is more difficult than maintaining a relationship with a regular donor. However, it’s important to not leave donor acquisition efforts for hard times. Your donor base is constantly changing, and your approach to acquiring new donors should be constant as well.
It’s a question that marketers and fundraisers regularly ask themselves. You may have a general idea of the types of people who are purchasing your products or giving to your cause. But crafting compelling messages requires a deeper knowledge of what resonates with your constituents. The most effective campaigns are those that reach people on a relevant, personal level.
Think about the last purchase you made. What did it take to bring you from prospective customer to committed buyer?
Prospects typically need multiple touches before they commit to a purchase—over 7, according to the Online Marketing Institute. While it’s relatively easy to send out lots of emails or post on social media, we’re in an age where many of us are experiencing digital overload. (The average office worker receives 121 emails per day!) In such a crowded digital space, it’s hard to make your voice heard. If you’re not getting the kind of response you’d like from your marketing campaigns, it may be time to add direct mail to the mix.
Direct mail consistently rates as being more trustworthy, more memorable, and read more often than email. It provides a personal touch and the kind of experience digital just can’t deliver.
Direct mail may seem limiting if you have limited experience with it. However, printing has advanced considerably, giving you a wide range of options for texture, color, shape, design, and personalization.
As with any marketing communication, direct mail works best when it is relevant to the recipient and tailored to your audience. Just like digital communications, you can automate your direct mail to make the process more efficient.
What is Marketing Automation?
The basic idea of marketing automation is to use software to replace repetitive manual processes with automated actions. You can find, target, and contact prospects effectively and efficiently. The automation software makes it easy to segment your contact lists and target specific audiences with tailored messages, leading to increased sales for your business. Automation delivers you more qualified leads and makes your marketing more efficient, so that you can focus on high-gain sales activities for your company.
Automation often relies on a trigger system. When a prospect completes a certain action, such as opting in to an email list, it triggers your software to send an email to them. Automation is regularly used for digital marketing processes. The benefit of digital automation is that you can reach prospects instantaneously, increasing the chances of a sale. However, direct mail can be automated too, and it gives recipients something more: a physical and personal experience that stands out from a cluttered email inbox.
Some examples of direct mail automation campaigns include:
Exclusive offers based on past purchase history
Mailings to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, or to thank
Promotional packages, featuring branded products
Case Study: A Real-Life Campaign
An essential factor of any automated campaign is to know your audience. Automation software makes it easy to segment your contact lists to find the best audience for your campaign. You can define your best customers and the key demographic and psychographic factors they have in common.
If you’re working in a B2B context, you may find that a certain industry uses your services more frequently than others. It makes sense that you’ll want to engage with similar businesses to find more customers that are like your best customers.
A recent mailing campaign we did followed this model. We identified an industry we frequently worked with, and set out to create a campaign to attract more leads from this group. Having worked with this demographic before, we were able to anticipate common pain points, needs, and desires they face, and create content with those factors in mind.
Before contacting anyone, we put together a compelling direct mail marketing package. Personalized to the recipient, the package showed our knowledge of their industry and reached them on a personal level. The message–we know your problems and desires, and we can help you to solve and achieve them.
The packets included:
A letter personalized with the name, address, and institution of the recipient
A functional portfolio folder featuring content customized for the recipient’s business
A description of our services specific to that audience
Contents packaged in a custom envelope
While we were able to create a personal touch with our content, automation allowed us to find and connect with these prospects in a timely, scheduled manner. We purchased data lists that we then compared to our current customer list to exclude our customers from receiving a prospecting packet. Once we identified a qualified list of recipients, we automated the mailing by consistently sending out 10 packets per week. Then, we followed up with a structured phone and email schedule.
We created a personalized and industry-specific mailing and used automation to identify, mail to, and follow up with qualified recipients. We were able to generate business by creating an impression with our direct mail package. It stood out among the myriad marketing messages these businesses received on a daily basis.