3 ways to use direct mail effectively in the age of social media

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

Although direct mail requires printing and postage, we still include it in our marketing plans because it can be effective if you do it right. Don’t discount the traditional methods. MarketSmart has generated millions of dollars for clients with direct mail.

Combine online and offline channels.

Often it is best to combine direct mail with an Internet landing page. Drive respondents online for more information – then give them opportunities to convert into leads.

Be relevant and timely.

It’s all about THEM.  To improve your response rate, you must send highly targeted, relevant offers and information to your prospects. Otherwise, it’s just “junk mail.”

If you use your data to send the right person, the right offer, at the right time, direct mail will deliver an exponential return on your investment.

Finding the time to do it right may be difficult but the rewards are exponentially better.

For “nurturing efforts”…  Create some postcards in bulk

While small postcards are a form of direct mail, they are cheaper to produce and deliver than full-blown direct mail packages or sales letters, and they are great for generating leads.

You can use them to build awareness over time (with repetitive “drip” marketing”), drive traffic to your website or to promote a special offer.

Postcards are also a great way to stay in touch with your customers and prospects. We suggest you create 3-5 key messages emphasizing your unique selling points and competitive advantages. Then design and print them all at once to gain economies of scale and save money.  Next, drop them in the mail every few weeks or so.  Make sure your list is a good one that includes people you know want to hear from you such as: frequent customers, repeat visitors, loyal donors, etc.

That will build awareness and generate activity for you in a turnkey fashion. Create the plan once and just let it run all year long.



2 responses to “3 ways to use direct mail effectively in the age of social media”

  1. Madison says:

    Great blog, thanks for sharing! In this overwhelmingly digital age it can be easy to disregard more traditional forms of communication with donors like direct mail, but they shouldn’t be discounted. Many people still prefer direct mail, and if you take the time to make sure your offer and information is eye-catching and relevant, then you will get a good response. Postcards are good as well because people can look over them quickly, and the information is right there. Sometimes if people know there is an offer inside an envelope they won’t take the time to open it, with postcards they see it all right there, and it feels more personal.

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