10 Things Charities Do in Direct Mail that Everyone Should Consider

10 Things Charities Do in Direct Mail that Everyone Should Consider

My husband’s company has this policy that if you donate a certain amount of money to a charity you get to wear jeans on Friday, and since he believes in giving when you have the means to give back to society, and seeing how he loves wearing jeans, he tries to donate every week. Now he is not overly loyal to any one particular charity for his Friday donations and it seems he likes to like to spread his “wealth” around so we get a bunch of direct mail pieces from various charities throughout the year.

One of the most memorable things we received was a pair of socks from an animal charity. Though I thought they were cute, they were too small for me, and my daughter refused to wear them. They became a mouth toy for my half lab; he loves carrying socks around in his mouth. I have also had my fair share of return address stickers, seeds, drink choices and even several insulated lunch boxes and totes.

And though some of these promotional ideas are flashy and over-the-top they still keep their charity in the forefront of my daily life. I always giggle when I see my dog carrying around a pair of balled up socks with pictures of dogs on them. Mailing out a promotional item along with your direct mail piece is a win-win. Even if they throw away your letter, brochure, or postcard, the promotional item is still lurking around just waiting for someone to view it and remember that they need what you are selling.

Nine more things that Charities do when they run a direct mail campaign that you should do too is:



Non-profit organizations send out multiple direct mail pieces and use the frequency to analyze and improve their direct mail pieces for better results.
Incorporate Non-Ask Communications
Charities understand the use of using non-selling pieces such as newsletters, annual reports and other informational pieces to do a soft sell to their donors.


Test Everything

Testing allows you to find the best pieces that appeal to the people you mail to.


Personalizing Content

Charities have long understood the benefits of personalization to engage their prospects. Use personalization to create a strong connection and generate a positive response.



Repetition allows you to stay in front of your customers; be there when they need your product or service, serve as a reminder, as well as allow you to test and analyze your results.


Refresh Their Donor Lists to Increase Their Prospecting Pool

Charitable organizations are always looking for new donors to refresh their donor lists. They do not constantly use their in-house list but also rent lists to eliminate list exhaustion.


Stay within Brand

With so many charities out their doing similar things, it is important for non-profits to stay within brand so that they are easily recognizable. The same is true for businesses looking for new customers and retaining their old ones.


Tells a Story to Engage Readers

People love stories, they love how things have come about. An engaging story can humanize your organization and earn your prospect’s trust.


Use Fear, Greed, Guilt, Anger, Exclusivity, Salvation, Flattery to Drive People to Act

Non-profits hone in on some of our human based emotions and needs to get people to act and at times without their donors even knowing they are doing it. This technique is also used by a lot of successful marketers.

Need help with you next marketing campaign, let one of our direct mail experts give you a hand by calling 561-393-4722.

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