10 Direct marketing Tips for not for profits

If you have an event to publicise or a fund raising campaign to kick-off direct mail is a great way to do it. DM still produces better response rates than online/email marketing if it's done correctly. This is a far from exhaustive list but it contains some of the basic pointers for running a successful campaign. Most of the rules here apply just as well to online marketing. If you'd like to discuss your campaign with us please feel free to get in touch, if we can't help we'll point you towards someone who can.


  1. Learn the 40/40/20 rule - Developed by Ed Mayer in the 60's the rule says that 40% of your direct marketing success depends on your audience - who are you marketing to and are they the right target audience? 40% depnds on your offer - this can be a discount on tickets for an event or, in the case of fund raising, a particular call to action. 20% depends on everything else - how the message is presented, using what medium and what marketing collateral?
  2. Get a list - if you're mailing or emailing a proper list is essential. Check your list regularly check for bounces or return to senders after campaigns have been sent. Check for misspellings, incorrect titles etc. people are sensitive to these things and an incorrectly spelled surname or forename creates a poor first impression.
  3. Have a great offer - If you're selling tickets for an event offer a discount for early orders or bulk buying, if you're fundraising have a definite call to action and a compelling reason to act e.g. Donate now to help X before it's too late
  4. Get Creative or get a Creative - Even though it's only part of the 20% we still think great design plays an important part in a campaign. If you have the time and talent (and software) to do it yourself then do so; otherwise talk to us and we'd be delighted to help bring your ideas to life.
  5. Use a great printer. By which we mean us, naturally. If you're not using us then find some other printer with a reputation for quality and service, ask for samples of previous jobs to check what the quality of the work is like.
  6. Let your printer handle the mailing - most printers can take care of mailing your campaign or will have good links with a mailing house that can. This can save you time, trouble and money.
  7. Proofread! - Using a spell check programme is the bare minimum you can get away with. Ideally get two or three people to read over the content, this can also provide an opportunity to make sure that everything reads correctly.
  8. Follow Up - once you've sent your campaign be sure to follow up. Track responses, check what's working and what not.
  9. Integrate your campaigns - campaigns where online and offline work in tandem produce the best results. With AR and QR codes you can easily bridge the gap between your online and offline presence.
  10. Say Thank You! If people have responded to your campaign be sure to thank them - a card, a note, an email, a voucher - however you do it be sure to do it. These individuals are your new core audience and they will be come the foundation of your future successful campaigns.



We are here if you need any help

From Brochures that help tell your story and Direct Mail Solutions that ensure it gets into the right hands, to Displays and Signage that promote your message and Fund-Raising Envelopes that help continue it, we provide a number of products that help you raise funds and communicate with your community.



Abouit the author - Tom Clements is the managing director of RPD Limited, he has a degree in Communications from Dublin City University, a Certificate in Fundraising Management from the Open University and is a member of the Institute of Fundraising in the UK. He's also on the board of directors of The Lord's Taverners Ireland a charity which works towards "giving youngsters, especialy those with special needs a sporting chance". (http://www.lordstavernersireland.ie).