Friday, August 26, 2011

Direct Mail is still King



A fact that I was reminded of at the very good DMA Nonprofit Federation conference in NY this week.

However, I also sensed the respect for the Online channel is growing, especially in the realm of integration - there were several sessions that discussed it. So with that in mind, lets talk about one tactic you can utilize to integrate your offline and online channels from a marketing and communication perspective - using online to enlarge and refine your House File.

There are two unique things about online in my opinion - its trackable and the user has control. Our job as marketers is to make our users feel comfortable and empowered enough to sign up for an event, donate or do whatever your objective is.

It ain't easy and as you've seen in my prior posts, there is a lot we need to do to get them in that frame of mind to convert. However, once we do, we will have valuable information that we can marry to our house file and market to them effectively offline. The trackable portion of online not only gives us their email, age and mailing address, but it allows us the visibility to see what interests the user and what causes she feels most passionately about, allowing for better segmentation opportunities.

Using a combination of your website to gather donation information, as well as social media tools such as Facebook to get people to sign up for special events is a good start. And while donors are obviously more "valuable" now, don't disregard the passion of people who sacrificed their time to be part of your event. You can build a good "warm mailing" list that can beat many "cold mailing" lists that are bought via brokers by dozens of the same organizations.

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