Many nonprofits worry about the finality and expense of a direct mailing. Direct response marketing primarily involves sending a communication to your primary supporter base, or in some cases, a prospect base. And with the growth of online giving, many organizations question the efficacy of direct mailing. The numbers show that while online giving grows, direct mail is still effective with givers across all ages.
Contrary to direct mail, email is one of the most affordable and broad communication platforms available to an organization. And depending on your tool and tech stack, you may be able to glean more engagement and measurement insights from email than from a mailing. By examining metrics, you can easily see the number of individuals that opened your mail, clicked on a link, donated in response to an email, and more. Akin to the insights you can gain from today’s social media platforms, email is a powerhouse of a tool, though it it still not necessarily a replacement for a handwritten letter in the mail.
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A welcome series is just what it sounds like – it’s a series of emails, most likely automated by your email marketing tool, that you send to new subscribers. Once individuals have signed up or “opted in” to hearing from you, you can welcome them with a series of templated emails that introduces them to your work. Ideally, a welcome series plants the seed for a new supporter’s involvement by offering event invitations, volunteer opportunities, ways to give, and more. This is often one of the first few touchpoints that an individual has with your organization. If executed well, it can get someone excited about supporting you while providing you with insights into your supporters’ engagement journey.
Akin to your website, newsletters are a staple in the social good sector. Whether you send it weekly, bimonthly, or monthly, your newsletter updates constituents on the latest events, successes, and/or changes facing your organization. It also gives them an opportunity to get involved. Just like your email campaigns, newsletters are inexpensive and far-reaching, allowing you to produce one tailored template that you easily modify.
Like your newsletter, blogging allows you to share updates, spotlights, and events. Most organizations that have a blog embed it as a special section within their website. Regular blog posts improve your search engine results by increasing the likelihood of web traffic while keeping your supporters looped into news at your organization. A blog can also provide a helpful link between your email and social media by providing an additional avenue where your visitors can go for updates.
While they’re not the most popular platform, surveys give you insight into how your supporters perceive your organization. Organizations frequently administer surveys as part of their own campaigns through social media, newsletters, or emails. While they’re commonly floated to new or active donors, they can also give you information about why people donate, how easy it is to navigate your website, or how easy it is to give.