Premium direct mail – those direct mail packs with ‘gifts’ to donors and potential donors get a bad rap.
Quite a few commentators think they are BAD.
Looking at years of data in Australia and New Zealand we see that sometimes a non-premium mailing will beat a premium mailing, but overall and across many charities, large scale premium direct mail programs beat large scale non-premium direct mail in every mathematical measure – even in the long term.
In other words, premium direct mail raises more net income, through higher net life time value than non-premium direct mail.
And if anyone says ‘that is not the point’ look at them incredulously and ask what is the point of fundraising if it is not to maximise net income to a charitable cause in the long term?
Any argument about how it undermines the sector, or loses confidence is easily countered by the fact that more people gave last year than any year before. Or, if in your market that isn’t the case, I bet the trend is upwards.
And what of increasing attrition? Well a rule of sales: the more customers you have, the lower value of the average customer, but usually the more good customers you have too.
Yes, attrition rises. But that is partly because we are fishing deeper to keep up with the demand for our services.
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