Let's Raise Some Money
Insights from Karen Climer about fundraising and nonprofit organizations

Which Works Better – Email Or Snail Mail?

July 8th, 2014 by Karen Climer

Where two or more fundraisers gather together, the discussion will likely include whether email solicitations or snail mail solicitations work better.  I alone have the answer that will end this discussion forever.  That’s right.  I’m going to share the secret with you.  The secret that will end this discussion forever is multi-channel solicitation.  (You probably already knew that.)

The teaser on the outer envelope was the same as the subject line in the email I received the day before.

The teaser on the outer envelope was the same as the subject line in the email I received the day before.

Most organizations do some form of email solicitation and some form of mail solicitation, but only the best combine the two.  Food For The Poor is one of the best.

On July 1, I received an email from Food For The Poor with the subject line, “6¢ is all you need to feed a hungry child”.  I glanced at it, but didn’t really pay too much attention.  The next day, I received an envelope with the teaser, “6¢ is all you need to feed a hungry child”.  I paid a lot of attention to it because I saw that particular phrase the day before in my inbox.

This direct mail piece and the email are each fantastic on their own.  The direct mail piece includes a two-page letter (front and back), a reply form that includes a real penny and nickel, and a separate reply envelope.  The outer envelope has a window to see the real nickel and penny.  All four components have the 6¢ motif.  The letter and the reply form include my name.  As a side note, the mother of the child in the photo is named Karen.  I was curious if that was personalized for each letter as well, so I checked it out.  That was pure coincidence.  (It does make you pay attention when someone has the same name as you.  See last week’s post about names.)

This package is excellent and could stand on its own.  The email that came before it only made it better.

This package is excellent and could stand on its own. The email that came before it only made it better.

Back to the mailing, it’s a great piece that would have raised significant money no matter what, but it will perform even better because of the e-mail that came before it.  Too often we send an email.  A week later we send a solicitation letter.  A few weeks after that, we send an invitation to an event.  But nothing connects.  It’s as if three separate people prepared them and no one knew what the other two were doing.  That’s not really multi-channel fundraising.  That is three separate departments each doing their own thing.

Food For The Poor connected everything into a comprehensive solicitation.  That is multi-channel fundraising.  That is more effective than email or snail mail.

Posted in Direct Mail, Email

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