Marketing & Communications Centre > Marketing Essentials > Help Sheets > Planning Direct Mail - Part 3

Planning Direct Mail - Part 3

The first two parts of the Planning Direct Mail help sheet summarised some of the key steps that community organisations and not-for-profits should work through when planning their direct mail campaign.

Before continuing with the third part of this help sheet, ensure you have read the first two parts of the help sheet – available by clicking here for part 1 or here for part 2.

The third and final part of this help sheet looks at some of the other tools your group can use to best target its direct mail campaign.


Other Tools you can use to Target Your Direct Mail Campaign

Depending on how sophisticated your group wants to be, there are a number of methods and tools it can use to better define the target audience of your direct mail campaign.

Basic methods of expanding and better targeting your audience are:
  • Work through your existing member/donor/supporter list by:
    • Brainstorming for names of potential new contacts.
    • Including invitations or requests in your group newsletter – for example, a section of the newsletter with the heading: "Do you know someone who'd be interested in joining us or receiving our newsletter". The recipient may know an interested prospect.
    • Embark on a "sign up a new member/donor" drive with your existing contacts; having them work to expand your target audience.
  • Make the most of present contacts and past dealings by:
    • Recording the detail of those who RSVP to functions, attend or volunteer for events, purchase raffle tickets or merchandise, or receive help or advice from your organisation.
    • If you do pursue these options, make sure you ask them on their raffle ticket or invitation if they wish to receive more information about your group. Have them tick a box if they DO NOT wish to.
  • Invite new inquiries by:
    • Setting up a stand or stall at a community event, and inviting interested people to sign up for more information.
    • Including contact details for your group or organisation on signs or in any advertising or promotion you do.

For a more formal campaign where your group needs to get its direct mail message to a wider audience, the options are more sophisticated, and can include:
  • Lists. If you don't have a wide database need more names for your direct mail campaign, you can buy a list of names and addresses from a list broker.
    • This could mean you look at your existing base of members, supporters or donors, find some common characteristics and then purchase a list based on those characteristics.
    • For more information on lists and list buying, Click Here
  • Profiling any list by age, location, interest in donating and giving habits, for instance, will help you target your mailings further.
    • You could tailor information, appeals or requests to suit different profiles under the one mail-out campaign. In general, the better fit of message to audience, the better your campaign will do.
  • Testing. Direct mail can give you the chance to test different messages and methods of getting those messages across by splitting certain groups of people apart from the main body of the mail-out.
    • Testing can provide insights and information that could lead to more effective campaigns in the future.
  • Segmentation is a variant - but a more detailed variant - of profiling, in which your community group or organisation would divide its database up into segments and then treat each as a separate audience and develop a separate campaign for each.
    • For example, if your group is seeking donations, segmenting your database into earnings groups or occupation types can then see you "pitch" your message differently.
    • This could mean a "gold or silver membership campaign" for big givers or more affluent donors, a "monthly direct debit campaign" for those who like to give, but only in small amounts.



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