As with any successful direct marketing, our year-end mailing for nonprofit client Agape Child & Family Services came down to four essential elements:
1. The Offer. Helping children in need. Who can resist? Especially when you support the claim with facts such as Agape’s proven track record for making an impact in our community.
2. The Creative. Graphics that attract the reader and support a crafted message that tells your brand story concisely and with precise positioning.
3. The Mailing List. A good, up-to-date and finely tuned list, targeting only the specific demographics you’re trying to reach.
4. The Timing. We rushed the Agape mailing to get it in mailboxes in early December at the beginning of the gift-giving holiday season and in advance of year-end tax deduction deadlines. You don’t want your message arriving in the midst of seasonal chaos or competing with similar messages from competing marketers.
The results? As compared to the one-page director’s letter Agape produced in-house each year, our direct mail increased the number of individual donors 91% — nearly double the number of donors from the year before. The dollar amount of gifts was more than triple that of the previous year — a whopping 329% increase. And while many of those donations were from individuals who had given to Agape at some time in the past, 27% came from new donors, representing the start of new and ongoing relationships.
The old adage, “You’ve got to spend money to make money.” is as true for nonprofits as it is for profit-seeking businesses. Yes, Agape nearly doubled the cost of the annual year-end letter they normally produced themselves. But the pay-off has been tremendous. By our measurements of the results so far gathered, Agape netted a healthy 153% return on their direct marketing investment. Agape’s director of finance says, “There were probably many more that gave in response to the letter, they just didn’t send their gift back with the response card.”
Furthermore, because the direct mail expounded on Agape’s new brand positioning, “How Memphis says love”, recipients have a fuller understanding and awareness of Agape and a deeper appreciation of the brand. And that’s something you can’t measure in dollars and cents.
Wed, February 2, 2011
by Jay Perdue filed under