3 Direct Mail Strategies Charities Should Use to Increase Donor Loyalty

August 2021

One-off donations are nice but regular donors are so much more valuable

Regular donors are the lifeblood of all charities. However, some regular donors are more valuable than others. If charities can highlight their most valuable givers, it is worth investing in them. As you will learn in this article, one of the most powerful ways to do this is through postal solutions.

The key to successfully nurturing donors through direct mail is to understand their lifetime value. Most people understand the concept of the lifetime value of a donor: lifetime value drives acquisition marketing budgets. Lifetime value can be calculated with a mixture of donor lifespan, average donation and donation frequency. For a more detailed understanding of lifetime value calculations and some of the issues around them, it is worth a look at this article

One of the most important concepts to understand about lifetime value is there is great value in calculating the lifetime value for different segments of a list. In some cases, you may have a good idea of who is more likely to be the most generous donors from their demographic or the acquisition channel that you used. At other times, more profitable donors may become apparent only after you monitor their behaviour. For more ideas about segmenting these calculations see here.

Whichever methods you use, we highly recommend keeping a list of those donors who are most generous and those who are likely to become more generous. These donors deserve special treatment. There are a number of ways that you can do this via mail delivery.

Why should charities use direct mail to nurture high-value donors?

Research from JICMAIL shows the potential of postal solutions. The top 20% of people who engage with direct mail are more likely to give both time and money frequently to charity. This applies, particularly to young people. 24% of recipients in the 17-34 age group discuss the direct mail that they have received – that’s 185% more than average.

Charities that segment their most valuable donors have a chance to build profitable relationships through mail delivery. This allows them to have more control over a valuable donor pipeline. They have a higher likelihood of achieving a greater total of donations for their causes.

Here are three strategies that use direct mail to achieve these aims

Here are three strategies that use direct mail to achieve these aims.

Increase donations from regular givers

High-value givers deserve high-value campaigns. Sending personalised direct mail that references their donations makes them feel appreciated.  This type of campaign should thank them and reference what they have personally achieved for a charity. They could also receive a personalised newsletter with more information about what they have sponsored.

This type of communication also merits more than the standard level of direct mail. Naturally, there is a careful line that has to be taken to make sure that donors do not feel that money is being spent on marketing that should be spent on the charity’s main aims. However, as an example, this type of campaign deserves a better weight of paper for a letter. A personal signature also says a lot and costs nothing.

Promote special donor events

Some donors may be invited to special limited attendance webinars, behind the scenes tours or other online events. If this is the case, consider sending them a personalised, printed invitation. This will definitely be more noticed than a standard e-invite. It is also likely to result in higher attendance and there is a chance to achieve extra donations from more people.

Reactivate lapsed donors

Sadly, some donors stop giving. High-value donors are worthy of a direct mail reactivation campaign. There is more advice on running reactivation campaigns here.

What about the costs associated with direct mail?

It is important to remember the high-value return on investment that mail delivery achieves. Recent JICMAIL research shows that postal solutions achieved excellent results for charities during the lockdown. In Q2 2020 Charity mail provided a 9% response. The investment in direct mail can be very worthwhile.

How do you find the right mailing services supplier for campaigns like this?

Sometimes charities may need a different type of mailing services supplier, especially if they haven’t run a similar campaign before. At Posthub, we work with our clients to offer support throughout the mailing process for both regular and one-off campaigns. With a number of clients within the charity sector, we offer expertise for data and mail management to improve the overall return on investment from postal activity. 

Here are three action points to get you started with a high-value donor campaign

  1. Build a profile (or multiple profiles) for your highest value donors
  2. Segment your donor list (the right mailing services provider should be able to help with this)
  3. Talk to Posthub and we will show you exactly what you might be able to achieve with a high-value donor strategy.

Remember the value of regular donations

Sometimes the world of charity is very focused on new donor acquisition. Of course, this is an important strategy. But remember the lifetime of the best donors. Make sure they are also nurtured and feel looked after. You want to give them every opportunity to donate higher sums and donate more often.

Want to know more about how Posthub can improve your mailing activity?

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