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The do's and dont's of Direct Mail campaigns

Published on 

3 minute read

Written by 
Helena Hubbard
Top tips
1) Be careful not to overspend or overtalk

  • DO consider having fun with colour, images, folds and even texture. But balance that with managing your supporters' expectations. Ask yourself if they want to see that you’ve spent a fortune on print and design, just to ask them for their pounds and pennies?
  • DO grab attention with compelling words and experiment with linking to your website appeal page with a QR code.
  • DON’T use too many words - think short and sweet, pictures can paint a thousand words.
  • DON’T confuse your readers with too many calls to action.

2) Use multiple channels

A direct mail is just one part of your portfolio and works best when it isn’t used in isolation. So integrate, integrate, integrate. Combine a mailing with a set of social media posts, engage an email campaign and see if your PR can place a supporting story in the media.

  • DO tell your entire team that a mailing is about to land!

3) Reach out to dormant donors

When you decide who to post your latest fundraising plans out to, with a carefully considered campaign call to action, remember your ‘gone aways’. Use direct mail to reach out to those who have supported previous appeals, and may just be waiting for you to ask again. Think of those who have volunteered or taken part in events. Post is great as you can reach out under legitimate interest without the worry of electronic opt ins.

  • DO make sure your data is up to date!
  • DO a data cleanse to avoid wasting money sending duplicate letters to incorrect addresses.

4) Targeting

You can have a basic design, but with direct mail you can also have variable areas to laser on different text, depending on the people you are speaking to. Consider having a paragraph that can contain different messages for different people and make your mailing work harder!

  • DO clearly identify these segments and plan how to analyse responses. You will need to segment your data effectively to target people by reasons for support.

5) Personalisation

  • DO use everything you know about your audience to create highly personalised mail. Why not tell them how long they have supported you for or how much they have given you in the past, if you think this will help. People are proud of their giving.
  • DO use correct salutations if you can.
  • DO add a signature, hand signed is excellent, but for massive mailings an electronic copy will do.
  • DON’T send incorrect information or give the impression that you don’t still need their funds! It’s a balancing act.
Want more info? We can recommend Direct Mail fundraising experts who can guide you through the finer details. 
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