Saturday, June 19, 2010

Debunking the myth: 'mail less'

I was checking out Jeff Brook's article on Fundraising Success this morning, The Curse of Too Much Mail.

I've broached this a lot in the past, namely here at how often should I talk to my donors and more recently here when drawing a similar bow, specifically how often should I blog?

Jeff is absolutely spot on when he points out "Adding more impacts to your schedule increases revenue and improves donor retention".

And when qualifying that also hits the nail on the head by saying "The real problem isn't too much mail, but too little relevance. The wrong 
message sent to the wrong people at the wrong time."

Earlier in the year we looked at this as part of our benchmarking study in Canada.

And guess what we found?

Those that contact their donors the most often invariably deliver the most net income. You'll note I said contact, not mail. Yes a large portion of that contact is through the mail, and yes a large portion of that includes asking, but not always.

That includes asking, thanking, updating, feeding back. Some more asking. And then all over again.

That includes phone, mail, digital, personal contact.

That includes getting the balance right.

So when we looked at this in detail the upshot was that those organization's delivering the best retention and reactivation rates, and the most net value both in terms of cash income and monthly were those who made the most effort to reach out and get in touch.

So we really shouldn't mail less. We should mail/talk/connect with people when we have something to say.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jonathan,

I was going through a statistics on how donors and other stakeholders are engaged in my place of work and your blog struck me again! One thing that I observed was that the traditional "snail mail" has proven to be a great communication medium despite the numerous social media avenues out there.

It is obvious one can not underestimate the "offline" communication strategy if used constructively.