Direct mail ideas to slide into the DMs (donors’ mailboxes)

direct mail ideas to slide into the DMs (donor's mailboxes)

Direct mail isn’t dead. In fact, it’s very much alive…and 70% of consumers report that direct mail feels more personal than online interactions (Source: Fundera). In our work of making each and every donor feel appreciated, that’s too high of a number to let slip by—so you should give your mailing strategies some extra TLC.

Check out these creative ideas that will have your constituents as excited to go to their mailbox as Steve from Blue’s Clues (are we dating ourselves there?).

1. Gather more contactable email addresses!

Guess who’s back…back again. QR codes. And they might just be the best thing to help you enrich your data. Chasing down valid email addresses is a never-ending task, but these are some steps you can take to see some more contacts added to your database:

  • Identify some of the top alumni and donors you don’t have a valid email or phone number for, but who’s mailing address you DO have.

  • Find some sweet swag you know people want to get their hands on.

  • Send them a direct mail piece with a QR code to sign up for that giveaway by driving them to an email or text sign-up form.

  • Boom! More contactable emails in your database (and more happy alums decked out in your school colors).

postcard mailings

Embrace the QR code!

2. Celebrate the milestones

Cue the confetti…it’s time to celebrate right alongside your alumni and donors. Make life milestones feel extra-special by showing up in your alums’ mailboxes when…

  • It’s their birthday! Or if you want to really stand out… half birthday!? (OK so this one might take a *little* more work, but talk about a way to grab someone’s attention.)
  • It’s their gift anniversary. Picture this: a gift officer sends a personalized message to celebrate the anniversary of their first-ever gift to the institution. Imagine the conversations that could spark from that!
  • An alum gets a new job – which, by the way, happens an average of 12 times in a person’s lifetime. (Source: Zippia) Stand out from the rest of the congratulatory LinkedIn comments by sending a personalized note the day they share that exciting announcement post. P.S. If you’re wondering how you can do this easily, we can help…

3. Get social – data, that is

The reality is, your donors don’t proactively provide you with regular updates on their most recent interests. But, they do share this information by interacting with your school’s content on social media. The average constituent has 42 data points stemming from social media (Source: EverTrue Analysis), and there are tons of ways to use that in your next direct mail solicitation. Here are just a few:

  • Create a themed social campaign, track the social engagement data, and send a 1:1 direct mail piece with a tailored appeal to the engagers. 
  • Do you have a specific program or initiative you’re fundraising for? Identify people who have engaged with that related social posts, and send a personalized direct mail piece signed by the Dean, director, or student associated with the program. 
  • Launching a new event or event series? Find folks who interacted with posts about similar, past events, and share the schedule so they can post it on their fridge. They’ll be reminded of it every time they grab their breakfast…and–with direct mail having an open rate up to 90% (source: Fundera)–you’ll likely capture some different registrants than your last email invitation did.

Ready to change the way you do direct mail? 

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