It’s no secret digital giving is on the rise—especially after a year with a pandemic and slowed mail delivery. But this has always been an essential conversation at Impact when developing strategy and copy for direct mail packages. I recently attended a webinar featuring Brenna Holmes at CCAH who reinforced the importance of multichannel marketing to increase giving.
Digital giving is here to stay and continues to grow year-over-year—Blackbaud reported a 32% three-year increase in online giving and 13% of total fundraising dollars were raised through online sources in 2020. But rather than moving solicitations online only, integration of digital and direct mail is proving to be the recipe for success.
Despite what some may say, direct mail is not dead. Digital savvy people continue to check their mail. In fact, campaigns that use direct mail and one or more digital experience see an approximate 118% lift in response vs. direct mail only or digital only campaigns.
The reality is that there’s no such thing as a single channel person anymore. Americans consume approximately 15.5 hours of media per day. So, we need to be in front of our donors on multiple channels so that when they are ready to give, it is as easy as possible for them to do so. Here are some tips that Brenna shared on how to successfully integrate your digital and direct mail marketing, as well as strategies we use with our clients at Impact that have proved to be successful.
- Take digital creative best practices offline. As the amount of media we consume everyday continues to increase, it’s important to catch donors’ attention and make your content quick and easy to digest like it is online. At Impact, we recommend incorporating these creative online best practices into your direct mail packages:
- Maintain consistent and repetitive branding
- Create a strong hook
- Use bullets instead of big paragraphs
- Create a clear call to action and make it stand out
- Use eye-catching graphics when possible
- Utilize white space
- Use consistent signers. If online donors are used to hearing from one person at your organization via email, make sure that person signs the direct mail package – and vice versa. It’s important for your donors to recognize who they are hearing from and feel like they’re maintaining those relationships.
- Create vanity URLs to include in direct mail packages. And include the URL throughout the package. Repetition is key here—in the letter, PS, and reply form. Using a vanity URL will allow you to create a customized landing page and donation form that matches the messaging of the campaign and allows you to effectively track results. It was reported that 35% of donors say they prefer to respond to direct mail appeals by giving online so make sure you always give your donors that option. This is a standard practice for us at Impact—and even if a client is unable to create a vanity URL, direct them to their standard online donation form.
- Test QR codes. Due to the increase of contactless payments and menus because of the pandemic, QR codes are more universal. QR codes are another way to make it easier for your donors to find your donation page—but be sure to always include the URL with a QR code so donors know where exactly they are being directed.