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May 14, 2019

How to Avoid Stale Non-Profit Mailings

Non-profit Mailings


We live in a time of near constant digital engagement: so how do you make sure your messaging stands out?


Research shows that in an age where so many people are being bombarded by emails, direct mail messages are likely to see a return of up to 50% engagement, which is huge.


How do you ensure that your campaign not only gets seen, but inspires people to donate? Here are some rules of thumb to consider.


1. Entice them to open

Oversized envelopes, bright colors and engaging graphics are a great way to encourage donors to not only notice your appeal, but to open it and learn more. Don’t believe us? The numbers don’t lie:

• At 37%, oversized envelopes have the greatest household return on investment over other mediums (followed by postcards and letter-sized envelopes at 29%)

• Adding a person’s name and full color in the direct mail appeal can increase response by 135%

• Targeting customers on a 1:1 level can increase your response rate up to 50%



2. Design for both scanners and readers

The average reader is going to read the first line, and everything that is bolded, underlined or italicized within the span of 10 seconds-2 minutes. Make sure that your most important information—including your donation appeal—falls within these parameters to ensure the reader gets and understands your message so you can see the results you want.



3. Tell them a story

Today’s donors want to know the IMPACT their gift will have: who does it benefit? Where does their money go? What programming does it fund?

Sharing a story, in particular an individual’s story, allows your reader to feel more compassion towards the cause you are asking them to donate to. Pairing this message with powerful graphics will make it even more impactful and enticing.



4. Recognize your donors

A great way to engage your donors is to recognize them for their contributions, which can easily be done with a donor recognition program or through special events. These are people who believe strongly in your mission, have been personally impacted by it in some way, or they want to leave a legacy—so continue to nurture their support by acknowledging it.


Donors are more likely to continue to give to a cause they care about if they feel appreciated.



5. The most important word is “You”

People tend to be more interested in their own actions and needs than the writer’s, which is why using “you” language is so important. Instead of asking for a donation, framing it as their gift will help you better connect with your donors and show them how important their contributions really are.


Now that you know what the best practices are its time to get started. Check out all the free working design templates created to save production set-up time, allowing you to easily test new ideas and lift response rates. 


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