5 secrets for dealing with channel-crossing donors

It used to be that what you did in direct mail stayed in direct mail. It was nice, neat, and easy to measure. But these days, donors cross channel boundaries all the time. You can’t fight it or change their behavior — you have to work with it.

Here’s a post from Stelter Insights — The truth about direct mail and digital marketing — that can help you navigate this difficult reality:

  1. Be one voice and visual across all channels. Silos that cause your online and offline voice to be unlike each can kill your fundraising by confusing donors.
  2. Use one channel to drive action to the other. We know it’s ever more common for people who get direct mail to respond online. People cross channels for all kinds of reasons. Make it easy for them!
  3. Tell them what you want them to do. Sometimes online gurus are so into “engagement” that they neglect direct calls to action. Make sure you always tell people exactly what you’d like them to do.
  4. Reach out regularly. You are much more likely under-communicating than over-communicating. Don’t let fear drive your schedules!
  5. Test, so you know what’s working, when and with whom. And if your quantities are too small to test, it’s better to follow the herd than make up stuff on your own!


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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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