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Three Mistakes Nonprofits Cannot Make During Appeal 2021

Written by Michelle Toivonen Director of Strategic Marketing

Here are the Three Mistakes You Cannot Make in Your 2021 Appeal Campaign


I’ll cut to the chase. Nonprofits need to strategically plan and allocate their marketing budgets to get the biggest bang for their buck. Most of us know that those channels include email, direct mail, and....well, the rest of the channels vary. Some do great with media coverage and others do better in social media. Given that email and mail are usually the two most important channels, what can you do to ensure you’re squeezing every last bit of marketing from those channels? I’ll give you a hint. If your plan is to:

  1. Pull your list of donors and potential donors
  2. Send them emails and mail
  3. Hope it works, track the engagements, and report results

You’re already in trouble. You’re missing out on the strategic tactics you could and should be adding to these channels to see lifts in engagement and increase your odds for donations.

Mistake #1

Don’t forget to get your data appended and/or enhanced before you release email or mail

Did you know that you CAN ask your data team for email updates with contacts you have mailed, but lost touch with an outdated email? Have you appended IP addresses to your data profiles? You’ll need them for our Targeted Direct Ads suggestion below.


Mistake #2

Don’t Be Afraid to Ad Targeted Online Display Ads to Your Direct Mail Appeal

Did you know that for pennies per recipient, you can now place online ads on the devices of people receiving your mail? Yes, you can and it’s perfectly legal! It’s called IP targeting and the simple version is this: we use your home addresses and match the IP addresses to those homes, then serve your ad when the people in those homes go online. That means your best donors will see your mail and your online ads. Most organizations run those ads for 30-60 days during an appeal, significantly improving the odds of engagement. A high-quality advertising provider, like Midwest Direct, can suppress ads as you receive donations as received. There are more details and case studies we can share. Be sure to check out targeted online ads as a method to improve your results in 2021.


Mistake #3

Become a Qualified Nonprofit Mailer with the USPS and Ask for Presorted or Commingled Mail Rates 

There’s a significant advantage in price to become qualified by the USPS for nonprofit mailing rates and then to ask a commercial mailer to presort or commingle your mail for you. You could cut your postage fees by half or more! It’s a really smart idea to contact your commercial mailer (aka MSP, Mailing Services Provider)  like Midwest Direct for input before you begin your mailpiece design. You need the right specs and timelines in place to take full advantage of these offers. An MSP representative will help you with planning and paperwork.


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