Recent reports and statistics on fundraising performance of nonprofit groups show that charities are not earning as much money through direct mail appeals as they have in years past. This has prompted some to urge nonprofit groups to take steps to scale down their direct mail efforts and move toward other channels.
But the Direct Marketing Association’s annual response rate report paints a different picture regarding the power of direct mail:
The study found that direct mail response rates outperform digital channels by a long shot. Direct mail achieves a 3.7% response rate with a house list, and a 1.0% response rate with a prospect list. All digital channels combined only achieve a 0.62% response rate (mobile 0.2%; email 0.1% for a prospect list and 0.1% for house/total list; social media 0.1%; paid search 0.1%; display advertising 0.02%). Telemarketing had the highest response rate at 9-10%.