Rumors of the death of direct mail fundraising have been greatly exaggerated

When someone tells you “direct mail is dead,” they’re giving you some valuable information: They’re telling you they don’t have a clue.

Direct mail isn’t dead. It isn’t dying. It isn’t even sick, as the Civil Society Fundraising Blog says at Direct mail isn’t dying — but it is changing.

The main change is that direct mail now works with other channels. Donors glide easily between different channels, doing what works for them:

The physical impact of a piece of addressed mail, if it is relevant and compelling, can be even greater in a world where mail is becoming a rarer and more specialised channel. But it won’t work in isolation, it will need to sit as part of a series of supporting messages across a range of media. A donor might see a mail piece and respond online. Or see a TV ad and respond by mail. Or follow a route where they see messages on several different channels before responding on another.

Build your different channels so they work together, and you’ll skate through these changes with little difficulty.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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