One of our clients, a large national mailer, was experiencing dismal response to direct mail by online-only donors. But before eliminating these donors from the mail stream, we wanted to determine what, if any, impact direct mail had on online giving.
So we conducted a six-month test composed of three donor cohorts:
Cohort A These donors received no direct mail.
Cohort B These donors received very limited direct mail—always closely coordinated with a specific online campaign.
Cohort C These donors received all direct mail.
What did we find?
Giving by donors in Cohorts A & B varied by less than 1%—meaning sending a limited number of direct mail packages had no impact on giving.
Donors in Cohort C—who received all direct mail—gave 25% more than donors in Cohorts A & B, resulting in a 20% lift in net revenue over donors who received limited or no mail.
Why does direct mail drive online giving?
Because donors increasingly use the web as a transactional device: they are using your website to fulfill a direct mail gift. No mail = no gift.
Frequent direct mail communications keep you at the top of the donor’s mind when it comes time for her to give.
Well-crafted, story-based solicitations are also powerful cultivations that deepen donors’ relationship with your organization—and, by reminding them of the urgency of your cause, motivate them to give.