Digital marketing has changed the landscape of fundraising forever. But some things remain the same, like the tried-and-true direct mail package. It’s still the most effective way to reach prospects with nonprofit campaigns—and more importantly, to influence them to act.

#1—Depend on direct mail
In 2015, the Direct Marketing Association reported that direct mail was over seven times more effective than all of the digital channels combined. Then, more recently in 2017, the DMA reported that customer response rates increased by 43%, and prospect response rates increased by 190%! It’s obvious that direct mail is an important part of any nonprofit marketing strategy.

#2—Build and curate your donor list
All prospects are important, but donors are especially so. Once someone has donated through direct mail, they’re highly likely to do it again. That’s why it’s important to keep track of your donors, and to update your list with any address changes.

Because losing some donors is inevitable, it’s important to continuously work on replenishing your mailing list. Lists from reputable direct mail companies who have done their research and pinpointed your best audience are invaluable.

#3—Get creative with packaging
Think about your own mailbox. When you receive a mail piece that stands out from the rest, aren’t you more interested in opening it? Whether you deliver your message in a brightly colored, attention grabbing #10 envelope or an intriguing tube, your audience is more likely to open and remember a creative package than a package that looks like all the rest.

#4—Craft a compelling message
Besides a creative package, a compelling message is essential to your campaign’s success. Whatever your message may be, craft it carefully and make it succinct—people have very small attention spans these days. Help them out by using headlines, bolding key phrases, and condensing points into bullets. Break up the text with vibrant images.

#5—Share true stories
Real stories about how donations helped your organization serve to strengthen your message and make your mailing more persuasive. You can highlight an individual your organization helped, or a community—or even highlight how a specific donor’s contribution changed a life. People connect to positive, emotional stories like these that show how donations bring about change in a concrete way.

#6—Don’t forget the biggest audience of all: the millennials
You could say direct mail is a bit “old-school” and that only old people read it. But this is simply not true. According to USPS, 90% of millennials think direct mail is reliable and 87% say they like to receive it. Targeting millennials and either converting them now or grooming them for the future is a smart way to grow your donor list. Keep in mind, the millennial generation now dwarfs the baby boomer generation.

Keep these tips in mind as you put your nonprofit fundraising strategy into action. With direct mail consistently taking the crown as king of ROI, it’s only logical to make it a priority in your planning.