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How to use email data to warm up cold postal data for Autumn Charity Donor Recruitment?

July 26, 2016

The not for profit sector let’s face it, has been through a number of challenging years both In Ireland and the UK and through a combination of increased industry regulation around fundraising best practise and considerable work by the key stakeholders around building donor recruitment credibility the industry is in allot better shape than it was 2 or 3 years ago.

Traditional donor recruitment channels include Direct Mail, Outbound Telemarketing,a combination of both, Digital Marketing and so on, but recently we have found success in qualifying data prior to a recruitment campaign where we use tried and trusted direct marketing techniques to warm up the data for a particular charity brand prior to launching a recruitment message.       

For Example: Let’s say you are a charity specialising in third world activities , you look to plan out your third party data where you have probably targeted the same demographic more or less for the past 10 years let’s say it’s females 45+ middle to high income with children.

This data is regularly targeted by Charities as it consistently returns the best response rates but allot of other charities have worked this out as well and so the same data is often used by a number of charities in  the same week resulting in lower response rates and a demographic which is growing more resistant to charity prospect mailings.

You ask yourself do 25 to 40 year olds respond to charity mailings.? Hard to say but like any good Direct Marketer you will test it and review results.

One way to lower the risk of such a test is to include an email element to the campaign to optimise the results for the data you buy in and to allow for an offline and online response option.

So select males/females 25 to 40, mid to high income, deploy an email campaign with a soft but emotive message to derive engagement from the target audience.

Lets say you deploy the email to 50k records and you achieve a 20% open rate, which is quite common with this approach, you now have 20% of 50k people engaged with your message and have developed a warm database of 20% of 50k = 10,000 records ready for a warm direct mail campaign. 

So your mailing is ready to go, the letter text has been approved, the envelopes and marketing inserts have been printed, you have obtained the best postage rate possible so to entice your younger demographic why not send them a curiosity email in advance something like’ An important message from XYZ will arrive by post in 2 days and low and behold the mailing drops in 2 days time and ties in with the brand message.

Now we know that 80% of responses to the direct mail pack will respond within 2 weeks so at day 15 how about sending an email to the non responders with a more emphatic emotive message encouraging response and continue this process for another two weeks, one email per week.

We have seen the above process lift offline response rates from a cold mailing from 1%/ 2% to over 5%.

We have also seen online click thru response rates to a call to action donor page lift to up to 10% as the younger demographic prefer the online channel to communicate.

Its not rocket science and I really don’t like the words omni channel its simply giving the potential donor the choice.

Hope this helps with your Autumn donor recruitment planning.


Lorcan  (Passionate about data within a data compliant environment) 

Email Data

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Real time Lead Generation

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