Ordering The Fundraising Combo Platter

Gone are the days when a single touchpoint draws donors to respond. Old methods can bolster the new strategies to coordinated results. Folks, direct mail is not dead.

Connecting website behavior and mail strategy was the subject of a session at the recent ANA Nonprofit Federation conference. Presenters Justin Bronce and Mark McLean of PMX Agency and Audrey Barlumi of American Red Cross talked about how multiple direct response touchpoints boosted response to the need for blood donations.

    First, they cited statistics from various sources that included that in 2017 the share of mobile traffic to nonprofit sites increased by 9 percent and accounted for 40 percent of total nonprofit website visitors. In testing it was found that mixing and matching methods boosted response:

  • 6% direct mail only;
  • 27% direct mail and web;
  • 27% direct mail and email; and,
  • 37% direct mail, email and web.

On average, 38 percent of donors who made an online gift to a nonprofit in 2016 made an online gift again to that nonprofit in 2017. Some 31 percent of first-time offline donors were retained, while 25 percent of new online donors will stick around.

And, 73 percent of consumers say they prefer mail for brand communications.
Online giving is growing quickly but mail is many times bigger, and will be for years to come, the panelists told the audience.

Programmatic direct mail can be converted from website browser and intent data into personalized and relevant direct mail in an automated environment, typically within 24 to 36 hours and might increase response.

For example, the American Red Cross wanted to reconnect with donor prospects who visited key pages of its website, specifically those who have visited the Donate Blood, Give, Platelets, Cancerkicker, and Missing Types pages. This campaign was largely targeted at acquisition audiences but also targeted lapsed donors.

Based on that web activity, the Red Cross launched a 4×6 postcard campaign with three versions Missing Types, Red Blood Cells, Platelets. Overall, the Red Cross saw a 17 percent lift in conversion rate against the control group at a 96 percent confidence level. The combination of web and then direct mail brought in 639 new donations and 988 lapsed donations.