It’s been a while! Like everyone else, we’ve been a bit…busy.
Over the last four months, we’ve sent more mail, more emails, posted more, tweeted more…uploaded hundreds of display and search ads, matched back dozens of email lists and modeled an uncountable number of donor names.
Based on industry reports, we’re not the only ones pushing organizations to do more. It looks like a majority of non-profits increased their outreach at the end of the year.
And it worked. Most organizations realized increased year-over-year revenue from Giving Tuesday through year-end.
Even more importantly, through it all, we also built engaged, loyal and dependable communities. Just take a look around us—crowding airport terminals, marching on the National Mall, phoning Members of Congress—communities built from direct response strategies and tactics, which are right now effecting change.
It’s been a thrilling, and, quite honestly, exhausting 12 weeks. (Did you know you could wear out a track pad on a laptop! True fact—you can.)
During this roller-coaster ride, it’s been an honor to raise money for organizations that are protecting human rights here and across the world, saving our nation’s public lands from gas and oil drilling, defending the hard-earned rights of our country’s LGBTQ people, documenting human rights violations and standing against torture.
It’s also a true privilege to raise money for organizations working for cancer research and cancer patient care—reminding supporters that these causes are still a priority, too.
And, it’s wonderful to work with institutions reaching out to families and community members to give them some time away from the headlines, the news, the politics and enjoy a day outside, appreciating the animals, the gardens and the parks.
So, all of us direct marketing fundraisers—whether we are on the inside of an organization or helping from the outside—well, I get that we’re all pooped. But, we should also be really, really energized. We just raised a lot of money and engaged a lot of people for really great missions.
Ergo, hence and thereupon (by way of saying, we have finally run out of words!), THA is re-committing ourselves to making sure we carry that momentum forward and share what we’re learning from these crazy days. Because we sure are learning a lot. If you want to share a tip, technique or piece of advice, please do! We’re all for passing it on these days!
Here’s one of the first things we learned:
Find a cost-effective digital printer. Digital printers have come a long way, and there are a lot of options and pricing for different volumes and components.
If your messaging could change (say an election? A congressional vote? An executive order?), using digital print for your direct mail campaign allows you to have the most timely, relevant and urgent call-to-action.
Even if you just use a digital printing for the letter, it allows your direct mail campaign to stay current and integrated with your digital channels. And your direct mail messaging will reflect what your donors are hearing about in the rest of their world—which will immediately lead to more money and a more engaged community.
Our next tip will come quickly, so keep your eyes open and your inboxes cleared!
And I know these are crazy, kooky days, but they are great days. As I look around at all the work being done by organizations, agencies and consultants doing so much right for our world, I’m grateful to be part of this community and am looking forward to hearing what everyone else is doing, learning and discovering.