What is Direct Mail Fundraising?

direct mail fundraising
It’s one of the best ways to increase giving and grow your database! Direct mail fundraising will help you get support from donors by targeting them directly.  A mailpiece can ask them to become a monthly donor, make a first gift or upgrade their gift - all depending on your fundraising strategy and segmentation plan. There are many digital fundraising channels to choose from, however, direct mail still plays one of the most crucial roles in your integrated marketing strategy. 

There are several ways direct mail marketing can benefit your organization, but we listed our top three reasons below. 

3 Benefits of Direct Mail Fundraising

Supports your Digital Fundraising Campaigns

Donors are three times more likely to give online in response to a direct mail appeal than an email. In both the for-profit and nonprofit world, it takes several "touches” before a donor finally takes action in donating or making a purchase. People are busy, and you may get lost in an inbox or forgotten. 

A letter serves as a physical reminder to take the final steps in the donation process. If they leave it on their coffee table, it will remind them every time they leave their home. A study done by Mobile Cause found that 50% of donors will respond to direct mail messages when receiving the same call to action across multiple digital platforms. So while a digital marketing strategy is essential, the extra support in the form of a physical letter can make a difference. 

Great for Donor Segments

Direct mail is personal. You’re putting in the time and effort to write, print, and send a physical letter to your supporters. Pairing that with messages made specifically for your donor segments can make receiving your appeals extra special for your donor base, as well as strategically targeting them based on their previous giving history.  Knowing historically how your donors behave will provide you with great insights on who to upgrade to a monthly donor, which lapsed donors to renew or what ask to provide to which donor.  An optimized direct mail strategy can significantly increase your conversion rates. People enjoy getting mail, so make sure everything down to the envelope makes it feel genuine and more likely to be opened. 

For instance, does a big flashy envelope perform better for you?  Or does something small, plain and straightforward convert more? Your database is an essential tool in their step, and if you aren’t updating and cleaning it regularly, it can be hard to manage your segments and mailing list. 14% of people will move in a year, so a few addresses will inevitably need changing. Run a NCOA review annually to ensure your direct mail solicitations are being delivered. 

Make Meaningful Calls to Action

Mazarine Treyz explains that a compelling call to action will be relevant and urgent for the person receiving it. Direct mail provides a unique opportunity to make CTAs that don’t appear pushy or disingenuous. 

Write appeal letters that are honest and personal to your donors explaining your fundraising for, how the money will be used and suggested donation amounts. Communicate the importance of becoming a monthly donor and inviting your supporters to participate in the solution. 

Bonus Tip: Test, test, test! 

Testing is fundamental in any fundraising or direct marketing campaign. It helps bring out the most of your campaign and narrow down the content your donors what to receive. Running an A/B Test with two small groups of their donors is a great place to start. Test two separate direct mail solicitations and measure which gets the best response rate. 


Direct mail ensures that your donors are taking the time to absorb your message. When paired with a digital marketing strategy, it can boost the success of your campaign. Direct mail campaigns are also an excellent opportunity to optimize your giving strategy. You’re able to get creative with your messaging and report on your progress. That’s why it’s essential to use a strong CRM to store your data. You’re able to track the success of response rates and make a note of address changes. 

We know how stressful keeping your data up to date can be, so our software is optimized to catch duplicates, easily create segments and offer information in a clean dashboard. Our clients have seen duplication rates go from 450% to 1% while also saving hours to enter and manage their data. For more information on how to create an efficient donor database and deploy data-driven direct mail campaigns, reach out to us to learn more

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By on Oct 23, 2020, 12:00 AM


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