A very long time ago when I worked in print, colleagues were concerned that the proliferation of computers would sound the death knell for the printing industry. It was assumed that books and manuals, for example, would all be saved to servers and floppy disks (ha! remember those?), and no one would want to buy or store printed material. Boy, were they wrong – and direct mail is no exception.
At one time, it was assumed that mailings were going to go the way of the dodo. Nobody was interested in receiving mailings from charities anymore. If you’ve read our Direct Mail Benchmarks Report, however, you’ll discover this isn’t the case at all; in fact, direct mail is growing!
Here are three reasons to remind yourself why direct mail needs to be part of your fundraising strategy:
Direct mail is tactile
You need to sort through what’s arrived in your mailbox and, if it looks interesting, it’ll get opened. According to the Canadian government’s most recent census, only 62% of adults aged 70-74 use the internet. That’s a big chunk of the population that gets its information from other sources like TV, radio – and the mail.
How often do you find yourself unsubscribing from emails? Chances are, your inbox is pretty full. You’re probably pretty quick with the delete button if the cause doesn’t speak to you. With email and the internet readily available, Canadians are sending less physical mail than ever so there’s plenty of mailbox real estate to jump into and be noticed.
Direct mail is quiet
This might be an odd thing to say, but when you’ve got a physical piece of mail in your hands you don’t have email arrival pings, in-app notifications, or constant ad changes on web pages competing for your eyes. You have your donor’s attention while that envelope is in their hands.
And it’s like bacon – it goes with everything
Pairing your direct mail campaign with an email blast and a digital campaign is the trifecta of fundraising. Seamless, complete packages can be created that cross over from one channel to the next – a direct mail piece will be opened and read but the donor may make their gift online. Or, a donor may see something online but is reminded of that cause when your envelope arrives in their mailbox. Coupled with either “pre-minder” or reminder emails that reference the package, your bases are well covered to make it easy for the donor to send a gift.
At the end of the day, if we can tell heartfelt, provocative stories that make donors want to come along for the ride, direct mail is the perfect vehicle to take them there.