Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What to Do When Direct Mail Misses Young Donors

What can a nonprofit do when its usual direct mail efforts aren't attracting enough younger donors? Chet Dalzell recently commented in Target Marketing Magazine on an interesting marketing strategy by Covenant House, a nonprofit helping homeless children. In 2012, Covenant House was disappointed in its direct mail results with younger prospects so it went hunting online, setting up a series of petitions through Care2, the online social action community, on four topics: child trafficking, emergency health care, aging out of foster care, and domestic violence. They received names and online contact information from tens of thousands and this year used those names in a three-part e-mail series relevant to each petition subject, seeking to turn digital fans into donors. Those who didn't respond to the e-mails got a telemarketing call. Early results are positive, per Dalzell, but direct mail hasn't been dropped as a result. Since multi-channel donors are more generous and sustained givers, the young digital donors should look to see a direct mail piece in the near future, and direct mail continues to be Covenant House's "workhorse" of acquisition, says Dalzell. Bottom line: The lesson isn't "to mail or not to mail"; it's about a smart multi-channel mix, segmentation and testing. For more, see the article at http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/blog/is-there-generation-gap-among-direct-mail-responders

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