A Success Story of Direct Mail from the US Non-Profit Industry. Will it Work in India?

//A Success Story of Direct Mail from the US Non-Profit Industry. Will it Work in India?

mailIn the world of marketing, soliciting begins with getting noticed. As a non-profit organization, your task of finding donors is crucial. While digital is accepted widely for spreading awareness and drawing attention, the direct-mail box outside the door hasn’t seen envelopes for a while. If you really want to catch somebody’s attention, the old road might work better!

Gone are the days when brochures brimmed the letter box, much to the irritation of residents. Now is the opportunity to send your print ads and get noticed, especially if they are attractive. Moreover, the very idea that some marketer has sent a mail post makes people to say, “Wait, here’s something different!”

Direct mailing lists for charity organizations

Indian charity houses need to use direct mailing lists to know if they are sending print-marketing content to the right people. Donors are everywhere, from B cities to metropolitan downtowns, but they can be hard to locate.

A list can be of two types. Charities generally use a “house list”, which contains people who have donated before and continue to, while “prospecting lists” are meant to acquire new donors who might want to join the cause.

Remember, direct mails for prospecting does cost more than digital advertising, but two things are better: one, there are no bots, and two, the audience spends more time reading.

Rebecca Harris, in her article in marketingmag.ca quotes Rocco Rossi, CEO of Prostate Cancer Canada to illustrate the power of direct mail even in a developed country like Canada. Here’s an excerpt from Rebecca’s article:

“While digital and social media now play important roles for not-for-profit organizations, many are not giving up on the old-fashioned tactic of direct mail.

“What all marketers aim to do is get above the noise. What’s interesting is that with the decline of physical mail in terms of volume, and the incredible multiplication of digital avenues and other avenues to connect to people, direct mail actually gives you a way to stand out. People are getting mail of any sort less often and so in some respects, it’s a more intrusive media than many others.”

If you still have doubts, here are a few more reasons why direct mailing proves to be an important part of your marketing mix as a charity organization.

Liberty to be elaborate

With print, comes the liberty to get creative and expand on your message without sounding phony to your audience. Moreover, charity donors want to know, in detail, if the cause really matches their purposes and views. You can generously use graphics, give them real stories to read, and go for special fonts, a suitable paper quality, and packaging style to put in all the information you find relevant. That goes a long way to communicate your passion as a charity institution representative.

The strength of Indian postal and courier services

While you might be wondering if the story of direct-mail’s success in the US holds relevance for Indian marketers, be aware that India has a very strong mail delivery network. Indian cities and small towns have seen mushrooming courier services—all private companies trying to compete with DHL and Blue Dart. India Post (the government-run postal network) has been doing a marvelous job of connecting the far and isolated nooks and corners of the country by post and telegraph networks. They have updated to the new technology and has an even faster network including SpeedPost.

Get more prompt action from your audience

For charity organizations, it is not advisable to risk being “judged by the cover”. That is why social posts only get you so far, even if you have a high-quality, high-EQ silhouette with an interesting copy. Moreover, well-to-do donors are generally busy. Reaching them digitally makes it difficult for you, as your content is just a drop in the ocean. But an informative, well-packaged print copy with a touch of personalization, always gets people to take notice.

Direct mailing activities for charity companies in the US have regained importance as we enter 2017. Find out more about the latest trends.

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