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How to End Your Obsession With Direct Mail (and Why)

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.

loveLove! Ahh…. love. Is there anything better than love? Love is great. But when it goes too far and becomes an obsession, there’s a problem.
 
Recently someone over-enthusiastically posted a discussion topic on one of my LinkedIn Groups promoting direct mail’s benefits. I’m not against direct mail. In fact, I love direct mail too. But the obsession has to end! One should never become infatuated with a single media channel.
Evidence of her enthrallment was provided in the form of a chart that showed how research found that most major gift donors for most organizations originated from direct mail marketing.
 
Well of course they did! That’s the only kind of acquisition marketing most organizations employ.
 
Obsessions aren’t healthy. So here are my recommendations for ending your obsession with direct mail:

  1. Open your mind (and your heart)
  2. Be objective
  3. Review results like a scientist
  4. Stop looking for ways to prove the general view that direct mail works
  5. Stop looking for ways to prove the general view that other things don’t work
  6. Keep testing while you stick with what works until you find the next big thing but be sure to make a concerted effort to keep expanding your approach in a multi-channel way

 
After all that, if direct mail continues to deliver the best return on investment (for lifetime value of a donor), stick with it. But, whatever you do, don’t stick your head in the ground. Your obsession with any single channel could be hurting you.
 

 

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