Try this to increase fundraising response

One of the best ways to boost the response of your direct mail fundraising appeal isn’t what you might think. It’s to send an email.

Mail and email complement each other, creating better response than either would separately. That’s one of the messages in new research from Virtuous and NextAfter on multichannel fundraising.

The research shows that offline donors who receive an email are more likely to give a gift offline and to give again. The email also makes them more likely to give online.

Clearly, the two channels – online and offline – work together. That’s important. Because, as the research shows, multichannel donors are worth three times more than either online-only or offline-only donors.

So, the next time you do a mail appeal, take the next step and produce an email to go along with it. This is pretty easy to do. You’re simply creating a companion email that’s based on the content of your mail appeal, so most of the work has already been done. It’s mainly a matter of adjusting the messaging for email, formatting, and then distributing the email.

Your fundraising will stand out because the research also shows that very few organizations are communicating with offline and online donors in multiple channels. Not sure exactly why this is. Maybe it’s the ‘multiple’ that’s scaring nonprofits off. Maybe they think you have to use every channel that exists. You don’t.

But you do need to use mail and email. Not one or the other. Both, at the same time. And not just one online channel like social media. During a conversation about fundraising around the holidays, one nonprofit explained that the staff decided they would use social media – alone – for their Christmas fundraising. Good luck with that.

Mail and email. That’s the way to go. That’s multichannel enough for now. And even that safe step forward will make a big difference in your fundraising.

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