By: Chris Barr
The main advantage of direct mail is the ability to grab attention instantly, while reaching the target audience in a physical form. We are all swamped with spam emails, banner ads, text messages, and radio/tv ads — and it all tens to blur into a form of “white noise” that decreases its impact.
I noticed an example of this in my own home last week. A family member muted the television during the commercials of the Mad Men season finale. “Why did you mute the tv?” I asked. “Because the commercials give me a headache,” she replied.
But with direct mail, you can’t mute, turn off, or ignore the physical impact. Even if the recipient trashes the mail piece, they are still “forced” to see it, look at it, and make a decision about it. That’s powerful whether they realize it or not.
More than other types of organizations, non-profits need to use marketing that is direct and delivers an impact. Several factors contribute to the success of any direct mail campaign and they include the message design, your distribution area research, and the timing of the marketing and the information.
The targeted mailing area
The mailing area(s) you target will determine the success of the campaign. Non-profits should target every home within a pre-defined geographical location, to maximize their exposure and drive as much support as possible. When you use Every Door Direct Mail, you should analyze your typical supporter’s demographic profile, and mail to areas that are composed of similar prospects. You can reach people who are not in your database and the more people you reach, the more successful the organization will be.
Importance of the message
When designing your campaign, you should think carefully about the message. When you are raising funds or organizing a charity event, you have to appeal to the recipients so that you can get positive results. Most people want to do well but in many cases, they do not know where to start. By using the right information, you can solicit the donations you need. If you want to reach sponsors for your event, you need to make sure that you present an offer that will cause people to take action.
Making your pitch
When designing the copy for your campaign, you have to make sure that you make a good pitch. You have to remember that people get a huge amount of mail each day. Your message needs to have information that will ensure that it stands out from the rest. Consider everything from the language you use to the images. Fundraising copy needs to appeal to the readers and this means painting a picture that is clear and emotional. This will help to educate the readers about the functions of your organization.
Timing is very critical when you want to reach your target audience. As a non-profit organization, it is very important to get out your appeals at the most appropriate time. It is important to avoid sending mail during busy months when people are inundated with mail. The last thing you need is for your post to be lost in a heap of mail.