Why direct mail is key for the charity sector

Charities play an essential role in bringing support and services to those who are most in need. As the sector fights to optimise funds and retain donors, how can charities ensure that their brand can make an impact and invoke action? In this blog, we look at direct mail as the most cost-effective way to attract donors, engage contributors and stand out for the right reasons.

Key issues for the charity sector

We’re in a period of challenging times. At first Brexit-related pressure, then Covid 19 and an uncertain economy make for gloomy headlines. Government funding for charities is being cut in this time of fiscal challenges. And on top of that, charitable organisations are needed more than ever to take the strain from overstretched local authorities.

Half of all charities receive most of their funding via donations and purchases. The National Lottery also provides a significant income for the voluntary sector.

With less funding from the government, charities need to work harder to attract even more donations and Lottery grants. And once the donations have been received, charities must use the money effectively to deliver frontline services and support. The need for cost-efficiency is clear.

Charity sector facts and figures*

  • There are nearly 200,000 registered charities in the UK
  • Charities fund almost half of all UK medical research
  • The total income of all charities combined is about £48 billion. This is higher than the Higher Education sector, and about £10 billion less than Tesco.
  • The voluntary sector contributes approximately £15.3bn to UK GVA – more than the arts or agriculture.

*Figures correct as of 2019

Fundraising and the value of print

With so many marketing channels available to your charity, how can you know if you’re making the most of your fundraising efforts and budget? It’s perhaps too easy to think that digital is the only way forward, that print is dead. But let us reassure you that’s not the case. Mail has always delivered a great return on investment (ROI) and still does.

Why should charities use direct mail?

With the right messaging direct mail has the power to provoke your emotions. Messages which can reward and excite, shock or concern. Fundamentally, mail can deliver the most important benefit for your charity – driving your contributors to take action. Whether that’s increasing awareness; showcasing how your charity makes use of donations; appealing for donations or to encourage engagement with your cause.

Measuring the success of direct mail

When done correctly, direct mail can be the most cost-effective ways for your charity to reach your audience. From the outset you can estimate your response rate so you can determine the quantity of the mailing needed to achieve your goals.

One of the benefits of direct mail marketing is that its value can be measured. You can track your response rate using personalised URLs, response telephone numbers or source codes.

Establish your direct mail KPIs

First and foremost, you should identify the goals you want your campaign to achieve. For example: Raise awareness? Generate leads? Increase donations? Below are 5 examples of direct mail KPIs to help you accurately measure the success of your direct mail campaign:

  • Response rate – the percentage of people who responded to your mail using any of the tracking methods mentioned above
  • Conversion rate – the percentage of respondents who took the action requested in your mailer
  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) – tells you how much it cost to secure each new stakeholder
  • Revenue per donation – revenue per donation subtracts the CPA from the average donation to show how much profit you made from each donation on average
  • Return on Investment (ROI) – the holy grail of KPIs! ROI will show you how successful your campaign was.

Don’t forget to record and save the results from each campaign. That way, you’ll be able to compare each campaign’s KPI data and learn how to improve future campaigns.

Effective Print & Mail Fulfilment Management drives cost efficiency

Print & mail fulfilment management can provide a significant benefit to your organisation by focussing on the detail. Implementing a robust print management solution will enable you to:

  • achieve deadlines within budget
  • ensure the most cost-efficient and waste-reducing formats are used
  • streamline the production process
  • cleanse your data for optimum ROI
  • achieve better postal rates
  • make better use of outsourced solutions in part or full

Direct mail marketing made easy

Let us help your charity with your next (or first) direct mail campaign. Get in touch to talk about our Direct mail services which will ensure you’re getting the best quality and the best value for your budget. We can design, print and manage the entire process on your behalf.

You can count on our professional knowledge of all things data, design and print plus our experience of working with charities to deliver your project on time, within budget and without fuss.

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