9 important fundraising advantages of direct mail

Direct mail is dead?

Not even close. If you’re raising funds, you should consider direct mail, because it is a potent force for connecting with donors.

Here are some of the advantages of direct mail, from the GivingMail blog, at What Makes Direct Mail So Efficient?:

  1. Direct mail has higher response rates. It’s somewhere around 10 times the response rate of email.
  2. Direct mail lifts other channels. Because it’s good at getting attention, it drives other types of giving. In fact, it is in many cases the top driver of online giving.
  3. Direct mail is measurable.
  4. Direct mail allows for testing. If you have large enough mail quantities (See Smart testing for nonmathematical fundraisers) you can learn a lot about what works and doesn’t work for your donors.
  5. Direct mail is personal. You really can’t beat the tactile humanity of paper. It really feels like something coming from someone.
  6. Direct mail is memorable. Studies find that brand recall is 70% higher when customers are exposed to direct mail compared to digital.
  7. Direct mail faces less competition. There’s more email in inboxes all the time. And less mail in the mailbox. US postal mail peaked in 2006 at 213 billion pieces. In 2020, it was down to 129 billion.
  8. Direct mail gets read. Most email is deleted without a second thought. Mail is far more likely to be read.
  9. Donors like direct mail. According to the US Postal Service, 55% of people said they “look forward” to seeing what’s in their mailbox.


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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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