3 ways we know direct mail is alive and kicking

Has someone told you lately that direct mail fundraising no longer works?

Maybe you’ve also seen direct mail response rates go down. While costs go up.

But before you pull the plug on your direct mail program, consider this post from the BDI Blog: Direct Mail: It’s Alive! 3 Reasons Why It Still Works in Fundraising. It might change your mind:

  1. Mail is still preferred by most of your donors. I know it may be hard to get your head around this, when you personally don’t interact with direct mail. But the numbers confirm it. Mail still works. It may eventually stop working as new generations age into the donor stage of life. But it is not this day!

  2. Direct attribution is over, but it doesn’t mean your mail is not driving gifts. Like it or not (and you should like it more than not), donors freely cross channels. And the most common crossing is those who respond to direct mail online. In some cases, a majority of direct mail responses happen online. This can give the impression that the mail “doesn’t work,” when it works very well.

  3. Direct mail is adjusting, adapting and getting smarter. Technology is improving at printers. We can do things to personalize the mail and make more targeted and relevant than ever. Keep your eyes open to new opportunities in the mail.

Direct mail is still the best-performing part of a healthy fundraising program for most of us.


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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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