Nuts & Bolts - Direct Mail/Web: Integrate and Personalize

Nonprofit marketers who are heavily invested in one channel—such as direct mail or telemarketing—are throwing money away if they dive into online fundraising without integration.

So says “Improving Direct Marketing Response with Online Advertising” (available as a downloadable PDF), research published in October by Charleston, S.C.-based nonprofit marketing software and service provider Blackbaud.

“Perhaps the most blindly engaged channel used by nonprofits is online advertising,” says Richard Becker, president of Target Analytics, a division of Blackbaud.

He urges fundraisers to remember the basics:

“Effective multichannel marketing must be integrated.” Becker writes how many fundraisers are using standalone Web marketing tactics that are often inefficient for them, such as behavioral profiling and search engine marketing based on keywords. He suggests matching existing marketing efforts, such as direct mail, to equally personalized forms of online marketing, down to the “household level.” (While this specification would seem to imply email as a possibility, Becker lists the channel as a marketing method fundraisers may already be using effectively.)

“Only use marketing channels with clear performance measurements.” Becker repeatedly cites ROI as the best metric.

“Prior philanthropic behavior is the best indicator of future philanthropic behavior.” Nonprofit marketers may also want to note the potential donor’s “demonstrated organizational affinity”—as displayed through event participation and petition signing, for instance.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.
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