Marketing & Communications Centre > Marketing Essentials > Help Sheets > Six Good Reasons

Six Good Reasons why Community Groups, Charities and Not-For-Profits Should get Involved in Direct Mailing

1. It's affordable.

A direct mail letter can cost from 75c to just over $1 for paper, printing and mailing (using reduced direct mail postage rates).

This means that, despite the fact your letter has to compete with other postage items each day, a direct mail campaign is probably the least expensive way to reach the most people with a message that they can hold in their hands and examine at their leisure.
Used properly, direct mail is one of the most powerful donor or member acquisition strategies a small non-profit or community group can have.

2. It's independent money.

Successfully applying for grants is a rewarding and, of course, profitable experience.
But, unlike most grant money, the money you raise from direct mail will generally not be tied to a specific project or work area.

This means your group will probably be able to use direct mail income to cover general costs or allocate it to the areas of greatest need.

3. It's measurable and targeted.

Through the use of methods like targeting and segmentation, direct mail-outs can be aimed quite precisely at particular groups of individuals or supporters. It can be addressed to the market segment you wish to target.

The effectiveness is also easily measured. You can determine how much money was raised by a particular audience segment or an entire campaign.

It is then easy to establish the actual benefit of a direct mail campaign, the surplus, the return on investment and the cost of recruiting a new donor.

4. It's dependable and predictable.

With a little experience, the response rates to appeals can be predicted quite precisely, and the effects of changes in format, copy and design can also be predicted.

5. It's public education as well as fund-raising.

Some people just look at direct mail as a way to raise money or attract members.

But good, positive direct mail not only asks for something, but gives in return – gives information, background or an understanding as to what your group or organisation does.

This also provides people with more of a reason – more of a context – to donate, buy that raffle ticket, join up or leave a bequest.

Direct mail is a way you can convey information about your organisation and its work to a large number of people.

6. It's a critical step in the process of raising money.

Most importantly, a properly developed direct mail program can eventually raise considerable amounts of money.

Donor acquisition is the primary purpose of using direct mail and direct mail does it better than any other strategy.

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