How we know direct mail fundraising is far from dead

When was the last time someone told you Direct mail is dead?

In some parts of the fundraising world, that is just taken as an unquestioned truth.

It’s not.

And believing it is can deeply hamper your fundraising.

Check out these important facts from The Agitator, at Direct Mail is not Yet Dead:

  • Mail is where more donations come in. (Online giving is growing quickly. But mail is many times bigger, and will be for years to come.)
  • Mail retains donors (slightly) better. (31% of first-time offline donors will retain, while 25% of new online donors will.)
  • Ending mail acquisition is deadly. (The American Cancer Society stopped mail acquisition in 2013 for about 18 months. The five-year hit to revenue: $29.5 million. Other non-direct mail activities also took serious hits.)
  • Mail acquires large gift donors.
  • Many donors like the mail. (73% of consumers say they prefer mail for brand communications; 62% like checking the mail.)
  • Mail engages the mind differently. (Message on paper leave a deeper impression in the brain and stimulate more emotional processing.)
  • Mail lifts all boats. (Mail drives a lot of online giving.)
  • Mail can reach underserved audiences. (Research on US Hispanic households found mail an especially effective way to reach this important, but under-reached audience.)

Read the post at The Agitator: Lots of citations of studies that may help you expand (or save) your direct mail program!

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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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About the blogger

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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