The Power of Direct Mail

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, texting, SEO…There are so many marketing channels nowadays that you might be tempted to overlook the king of fundraising. That’s right, I’m talking about direct mail…the workhorse of fundraising that consistently yields strong results. Direct mail might sound outdated, but it remains the single most effective fundraising channel. Here are eight stats that prove just how useful direct mail fundraising can be  

98% of Americans check their mail every day.

You don’t need to worry about your direct mail package not being seen in a timely manner. People are checking their mailboxes. Every. Single. Day. Which means your direct mail piece is getting to your donor, not getting caught in a spam filter. 

And most people (70%-80%) say they open most of the mail they think is “junk.”

56% say opening their mail is a “real pleasure.”

Yes, people actually look forward to opening their mail. There’s just something about going to the mailbox and getting the mail that makes people feel good, especially in this era of so many emails and text messages.

79% say they read or scan direct-mail ads.

There is often the fear that your mail is getting immediately thrown away and no one is reading it. But that’s just not true. At the very least, your mail is being seen.   

48% of people keep direct mail for future reference.

I love this one. Direct mail has true staying power. I know stories of nonprofits receiving donations with a reply form from a mailing they did decades ago. This is part of the beauty of direct mail: the donor can hold on to it until the timing is right. 

73% prefer being contacted by brands via direct mail.

Do you know why? Because people can then read and digest the information at their convenience. And that’s when donors are most likely to be receptive to your message. Don’t let anyone tell you donors hate direct mail; it is just not true. 

70% say that direct mail feels more personal than digital ones.

Direct mail is tangible; you can look at it, feel it. There is just something to a piece of mail that feels personal. Email, on the other hand, tends to feel impersonal. Think about how you feel when you receive a thank you letter compared to how you feel when you receive a thank you email. 

56% trust print marketing over other channels.

Direct mail is considered more trustworthy than online ads or any other channels. Online has pointed many consumers in the wrong direction and made them feel tricked, and let’s face it, telemarketing has always had a bad rep. But print? People have faith in it.  

78% of donations for nonprofits come from direct mail.

Yes, I know online fundraising is growing and that is absolutely great news. But direct mail still accounts for the vast majority of donations for the vast majority of nonprofits. Direct mail is king for now and will be for the foreseeable future.

For more fundraising advice and news, check back for new posts on our nonprofit fundraising blog. If you’d like help with your direct mail fundraising, GivingMail offers nonprofit direct mail solutions. Here are some nonprofit fundraising ideas to get you started.

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