Monday, October 7, 2013

BIG’s Blog: I Miss Direct Mail Marketing

Boy, do I miss direct mail marketing. In the end, it was so simple. I know . . . I know . . . many fundraisers still employ it and are making it work by targeting anyone over 68 years old. But in the commercial world, those who actually measure the return-on-investment [ROI] of using direct mail are quickly shifting to the Web.

I miss direct mail marketing personally because I spent 30+ years learning and honing my skills as a direct marketer. Then, wham . . . it’s over. It’s fading away for fundraisers too. Will it end tomorrow?  Of course not, but it is sliding. Even the Direct Marketing Association [DMA] is urgently trying to reposition itself. It sees the future.

The future of fundraising is not necessarily about direct marketing in the classic sense. Classic direct marketing is sending a message and getting a response. When direct marketers like me saw the Web, we thought it was just another direct media . . .  think pop-up ads and email blasts. Come on . . . people quickly tired of the nuisance.

So is the Web your future in fundraising? Absolutely! But it won’t be the same. Being a direct marketer and understanding direct marketing methods is a huge plus, but factoring in the attitudinal shifts in younger generations and figuring out how to use new online technologies is a learning curve. Plus, we are all just starting to understand that the Web is really something new . . . not just a digital mode of our analogue world.

What does the future look like? Well, every nonprofit organization will be on the Web. Guess what? Every nonprofit is already on the Web, so the future is already here.

And if every nonprofit charitable organization is on the Web, what sets you apart? Are you transparent? Are you trustworthy? People younger than 65 want to support missions and ministries they feel they can count on. Is that your organization?

Are you giving more than you’re taking? And do you even understand why that is so important?

I miss direct mail marketing mainly because I knew everything about that world.

And while that is okay . . . it’s just human to feel that way . . . I need to get on with it so I can effectively help bring in the support that your organization and so many others need.

Join us.
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