Traditionally, charities and fundraisers have used direct mail as the staple way of raising money from supporters. Letters would be sent to a large number of households, usually containing postage-paid reply slips with a clear call to action. With the growth of the internet, however, the trend moved toward email marketing and the number of charities using direct mail dropped considerably.
Until recently, that is. At the moment, there's a noticeable shift in the opposite direction, as charities rediscover the power of postal marketing. This move back towards direct mail is happening for three main reasons:
1. People take more notice of letters than emails. Most potential supporters are overwhelmed by the number of emails in their inbox, and most marketing messages don't even get opened, let alone read, before they're sent to the bin. It has become much more of a novelty to receive a hard copy of a letter in the post, and people are more likely to open them, meaning that charities are seeing much higher numbers of responses to direct mail than before.
2. It's getting easier to send large numbers of letters and catalogues, both nationally and internationally. Companies such as Asendia offer options including bulk printing, enveloping and sending of letters and direct mail packages, which can make the whole process more affordable and achievable for small to medium sized charities. They make it possible to reach large numbers of supporters and friends across the world, with minimal effort.
3. You can send free gifts. People are more likely to open bulky mail that contains items such as pens, bookmarks and other small "grabbers", which can't be sent by email. These gifts can often lead to people feeling gratitude to the charity, and can make them more likely to respond to a call for donations.
Looking forward, it's likely that this trend will continue. More and more charities are seeing the benefits of using professional copywriters, as well as distribution services to send mail to recipients across the globe. With the ease of distribution continuing to grow, and the charity sector becoming more aware of their options in a competitive global market, it's no wonder that direct mail is being chosen by many organisations as their new favourite way of raising funds.