Integrating Your Digital and Direct Mail Strategies: A Guide

May 13, 2021
Posted In Fundraising
Explore this guide to integrating your digital and direct mail strategies.

Guest post blog submitted by: GivingMail, a leading provider of direct mail solutions.

Creating a marketing campaign might sound simple enough, but implementing a proper strategy with a multi-channel approach is easier said than done. In order to truly maximize your fundraising efforts and better engage with the individuals who help fund your mission, an integration between direct mail marketing and a digital channel is a huge step in the right direction. 

Direct mail is one of the most successful methods of fundraising for nonprofit organizations in the United States to date, especially if you want to directly pursue your supporters. Furthermore, direct mail appeals are the backbone of communication and fundraising for most nonprofits. Integrating this with your preexisting digital marketing strategy is a great way to approach your donors from all angles as well. 

Plus, utilizing direct mail is a non-invasive way to call on your donors and prospects to support your nonprofit. This allows your organization to actually interact with your donors, build long-term relationships, and give them a voice within the organization. 

Overall, direct mail is a tried and trusted method of fundraising for nonprofit organizations, and integrating it within your digital marketing strategy can be a transformational change for your nonprofit organization. Here are three ways you can do this:

  1. Build long-term donor relationships
  2. Leverage your nonprofit data
  3. Invest in the best fundraising technology

Ready to learn how to improve your overall nonprofit strategy with each of these best practices? Let’s dive in!

1. Build long-term donor relationships

Direct mail lends you the opportunity to increase the personalization of your appeals and build stronger relationships with donors. This is due to the ability to customize your appeals in a way that is catered to each donor, which is most easily done through donor segmentation. The more personalized your appeal becomes, the more likely you are to build a longer-term relationship with your donors and increase overall donor retention with these strategies: 

  • Relate the donation to the mission. When writing your direct mail or digital appeals, make sure to have a clear and compelling mission statement. If your mission is clear, it provides your donor with a tangible idea of where their money is going. Plus, it allows your donors to feel a deeper connection to the overall mission and vision of your organization.
  • Attach each donation with its direct impact. If you allow your donor to understand how their money is being spent, it brings the impact full circle. In doing this, you essentially share the success of their donation with them. This creates a sense of connection between you and your donor and encourages supporters to continue giving to make a difference.
  • Express gratitude. Thanking donors should be equally as important as asking for gifts. After all, showing appreciation is one of the easiest ways to keep them engaged with your organization. In doing this, they remember the donation they made and may consider making another one because of the gratitude you showed. 

Direct mail can immensely improve your donor relationships and bring awareness to your digital campaigns due to its personal touch and ease in building long-term relationships. Just remember to continue updating your CRM and thanking your donors throughout the continued donor lifecycle. 

2. Leverage your nonprofit data

The next step to integrating direct mail into your overall fundraising campaign is to utilize the data you have collected to your advantage. The data in your nonprofit database can be a powerful tool for informing your fundraising strategy on a big-picture level by showing where there’s room for improvement and where you can execute an integration between digital and direct mail channels.

One way to collect all this data so that it is easily leveraged is through a CRM. A nonprofit CRM, or constituent relationship management system, allows you to increase the personalized aspects of your letters and further segment your target audience. For example, when using a CRM, you can optimize things like donor profiles, effective communication skills, and fundraising data. In doing this, you leverage the data your CRM produces in order to maximize your campaign’s productivity and conversion rates. 

Remember, your CRM will become your central resource for donor management, so you have to make sure that it is the perfect fit for your nonprofit. In order to pick the right software provider, ask yourself what you’re looking to get out of it. Set priorities for important features and determine how much data, the types you want to produce, and the data quality. Selecting an effective CRM will lead to better overall performance of your campaigns and allow you to leverage your donor data to its maximum capacity.

3. Invest in the best fundraising technology.

Speaking of picking the right fit, this is a crucial step to any technological solution you choose for your nonprofit. By investing in the right donor management and fundraising technology (such as digital and direct mail platforms), you can raise more for your organization and better pursue your mission more effectively. 

There are a few key things you need to know when selecting the best fundraising technology for your nonprofit. Fundraising technology can expand your reach, increase efficiency, improve your overall visibility and transparency, and minimize areas with room for improvement. Some technological platforms perform better in specific areas than others. When selecting the right platform for your nonprofit, make sure to take a step back, assess your current situation, and then move forward with selecting your software. 

All in all, direct mail is an immensely transformative tool to implement within your overall multichannel marketing strategy. That’s because you get to reap benefits such as personalized letters, increasing ROI, and building long-term relationships with supporters. In doing this, you will be able to increase your conversion rates and achieve a successful overall marketing campaign. Good luck!

About the Author:

Grant Cobb is a fundraising specialist with over 6 years of experience in the nonprofit space. Currently the head of marketing and analytics at GivingMail, he is a huge proponent of data-driven decision-making and the push to bring high-level analytics and fundraising to all.

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