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Why Not Take the Least Expensive Path from Point A to Point B?

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.

Cutting costsOne of our clients still spends 80% of his planned giving marketing budget on direct mail and only 20% with us even though our digital marketing has proven to deliver better results from 80-year-olds at a fraction of the cost.
What’s stopping him from changing? Sadly, his boss! She doesn’t want to stop doing what they’ve been doing for years even though it no longer works.
 
In desperation we wrote an email that read:

“If your goal is to attain 100 planned gifts from 80 year olds, then why do it the expensive way? If you can achieve that same goal for 1/10 of the cost, shouldn’t you do it the least expensive way? Shouldn’t you take the least expensive path from point A to point B? In this case, that would mean cutting out direct mail and postage since we’ve proven that your planned gift prospects ARE online!”

 
So my message to you is this:  Are you clinging to old, expensive methods?  If so, why?
 
 

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4 responses to “Why Not Take the Least Expensive Path from Point A to Point B?”

  1. MD says:

    It’s not an either-or scenario: online (inexpensive) vs offline (expensive).
    The key to successful planned gift marketing is serving the donor the way they want to be served. Some prefer online, some prefer offline. The fact that 90% of America’s top 40 charities are investing more in planned gift direct mail cultivation should be a clue that this option shouldn’t be taken off the table yet, especially f the ROI continues to remain strong.

    • Greg Warner says:

      Thanks so much for your addition to the topic. My firm is still involved in several million dollars worth of direct mail efforts for planned giving. I agree! Direct mail should not be taken off the table…. UNLESS the organization can’t afford it. In that case, they should invest in avenues that can deliver the same or better results (based on a dollar spent / dollar raised basis).
      Also, too many organizations don’t do anything because they don’t realize they can get results from online channels. I’d rather see them get some results instead of none.
      By the way, can you please share with me the source of your fact?: “90% of America’s top 40 charities are investing more in planned gift direct mail cultivation”. Where did you find that tidbit? I have not see that to be the case.

  2. MD says:

    It’s not an either-or scenario: online (inexpensive) vs offline (expensive).
    The key to successful planned gift marketing is serving the donor the way they want to be served. Some prefer online, some prefer offline. The fact that 90% of America’s top 40 charities are investing more in planned gift direct mail cultivation should be a clue that this option shouldn’t be taken off the table yet, especially f the ROI continues to remain strong.

    • Greg Warner says:

      Thanks so much for your addition to the topic. My firm is still involved in several million dollars worth of direct mail efforts for planned giving. I agree! Direct mail should not be taken off the table…. UNLESS the organization can’t afford it. In that case, they should invest in avenues that can deliver the same or better results (based on a dollar spent / dollar raised basis).
      Also, too many organizations don’t do anything because they don’t realize they can get results from online channels. I’d rather see them get some results instead of none.
      By the way, can you please share with me the source of your fact?: “90% of America’s top 40 charities are investing more in planned gift direct mail cultivation”. Where did you find that tidbit? I have not see that to be the case.

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