Direct Mail Fundraising
Key No. 7: Rigorous Analysis
One of the really great strengths of direct mail fundraising is that it can become a totally controllable and predictable process if the right data is captured and analysed.
Once a pattern of response rates and levels of giving are established, these tend to be repeated if the conditions ( ie the targeting, message, ask level, timing) are similar.
So the key here is capturing and analyzing the right data.
Capturing the right data. Here is a list of the minimum data that needs to be captured:
- Unique customer number if allocated
- Name and address
- Any other address info, such as phone, email
- Campaign identifier ( e.g. Christmas Appeal 2003)
- Mailing date of campaign
- Response codes identifying list selection
- Gift amount
- Date of gift
- Opt outs for future direct mail
- Opt outs for list swaps
- Whether Gift Aid tick box comleted
- Any other Data Protection information (eg a request to receive one mailing a year only)
This set of data will allow analysis of the following key performance factors:
- Response rate of specific list selections or segments of warm list
- Overall campaign response rate
- Average gift levels per list selection or segment and overall
- Total value of donations per segment and overall
- Percentage of opt outs
- Added value of Gift Aid
Below are two sample response charts which provides this analysis for a cold mailing (Chart A) and a warm mailing (Chart B).
This chart shows that donors whose most recent gift was over 18 months ago and was less than £5 in value are probably not worth mailing anymore, or need reactivating in some way. As things stand, it costs more to mail them than they give.