The Memories Xpress Blog

Does Direct Mail Still Pay for Nonprofit Organizations?

Does Direct Mail Still Pay for Nonprofit Organizations?

Nowadays, it seems much simpler to send out email requests for donations rather than go to the trouble of printing a direct mail piece. Not to mention that the cost is significantly cheaper. Or is it?

When you send out an email request for donations, you simply draft an email, maybe have your graphic designer add some graphics, and then send it off to your email list. The entire project takes very time and no money if you are using an internal email list.

A direct mail campaign takes a lot more effort and money. First, you have to design the mailing pieces, then have them printed, then have them inserted in an envelope, then put addresses on, then mail the campaign. The cost per piece can easily run a dollar or more, compared to almost nothing for an email.

But in this case, simply looking at ease and cost is not the best way to determine the effectiveness of a donation request campaign. In the end, the most important criteria is how much additional donation revenue your nonprofit organization gets from the campaign. So what do statistics tell us about the effectiveness of direct mail versus email?

The Cold Hard Facts

In a fairly recent study conducted in 2011 covering 15.6 million donors and $1.16 billion of donations, it was found that 79% of all donations came as a response to direct mail campaigns compared to 10% from email campaigns (11% came from other offline methods). Even when looking at new donors, where you might expect online methods to generate more response, 76% of new donors were responding to a direct mail campaign compared to 16% responding online (8% joined by other offline methods).

So what does this mean for a nonprofit organization trying to raise funds from donors? While email and other online methods of acquiring donors may be an important source of revenue and perhaps even an increasing source of revenue, direct mail campaigns still generate the majority of donations for most nonprofit organizations. So the trouble and cost of direct mail campaigns are probably well worth it. And in this day and age, when we are bombarded with hundreds of emails, our physical mailboxes often have far fewer pieces of mail than just a few years ago. So when you send your direct mail campaign, it is more likely to get noticed than another email.

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Is Catalog Printing Necessary in a Digital World?

Is Catalog Printing Necessary in a Digital World?

With so much emphasis on a company’s online presence these days, it is easy to overlook how traditional media sources, like catalog printing, can complement and even increase the impact of online marketing. You may be asking yourself, “Why do I need to print a catalog when I have a great website that features all my products on it?” The answer to that question may be quite surprising to you.

According to the US Postal Service’s research, a printed catalog is a great way to drive traffic to your website. In fact, their research found that consumers who received a printed catalog purchased 28% more in terms of items and dollars spent than consumers who did not receive a printed catalog. Websites that were supported by catalog printing actually had 163% more revenue than those that did not. And mailing catalogs more than doubled online sales.

The study found that catalog printing significantly influenced consumers’ actions. Over 60% of those who received printed catalogs were influenced to visit the website, with the greatest influence on first-time shoppers. And there were other benefits — catalogs discouraged comparison shopping by more than 7% and significantly increased the likelihood that consumers would shop for holiday gifts at the website.

Consumers Love Catalog Printing

And don’t think of catalog printing as “junk mail,” because consumers certainly don’t view it that way.  Approximately 60% of online consumers say they like receiving a printed catalog, with 57% saying that even though they order online, they like to have a printed catalog on hand. And 84% of catalog recipients think it is easier to shop online with a catalog.

If you’d like more information about this study, click here for a brochure from the US Postal Service.

Still think catalog printing is unnecessary in a digital world? With all these benefits, it seems like catalog printing is a natural extension of online retail sites. And with fewer catalogs being mailed, your catalog is likely to be noticed even more when it arrives in consumers’  mailboxes.

We print lots of catalogs for our clients. If you have any questions about your catalog printing project, please call us at 1-877-977-3779 or chat with us online!

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Whats More Environmentally Friendly Print or Electronic

What’s More Environmentally Friendly — Print or Electronic? (The Answer May Surprise You!)

We’ve all seen those notes at the bottom of emails saying to save trees by not printing the email message. While it’s always a good idea to conserve any resource, the implication of that message is that electronic communications are more environmentally friendly than print. Is that true?

In short, the answer is no. Here are some interesting statistics (courtesy of the website

  • By reading a printed newspaper instead of an online version of the newspaper, you use 20% less CO2.
  • The average person wastes 2.4 times more electricity powering on one computer than is used to print all the paper that person will use in a year.
  • 60% of the power used to produce paper in the United States is from renewable energy sources.
  • Only 11% of cut forest trees are used to produce paper. 28% is used for lumber and 53% is used for fuel.
  • 33% of paper comes from wood chips and sawmill scraps; another 33% comes from recycled paper.
  • The paper industry plants three times more trees than it cuts.
  • Over 70% of today’s ads and direct mail packages are printed on recycled paper.
  • Spam email wasted 33 billion kilowatt hours annually, which is the equivalent greenhouse emissions of 3.1 million cars using 2 billion gallons of gas.
  • The adverse health effects from producing an e-reader are 70 times worse than producing a book.

Print IS Environmentally Friendly

So don’t feel guilty about printing out an email, marketing brochure, or other types of printing. Printing is actually more environmentally friendly than electronic alternatives. In fact, you may want to add one of these taglines recommended by the Print Is Big website:

Print is Green! Paper is a completely renewable resource. If you really care about the environment, save energy by turning off your computer tonight. Find out more:

Go ahead, print my email. You’ll read it 10-30% faster and produce 20% less CO2. And yes, paper does grow on trees. Find out more:

There are more forests in the U.S. today than there were 50 years ago. Don’t believe the hype, get the facts:

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NEED YOUR VALUABLE MEMORIES PRINTED? You’re at the right place. We specialize in printing a wide variety of multi-page memories in four different binding styles. You’ll get quality printing at a low price with quick turnaround times. What more can you ask for? Call 1-877-XPRESS-9 (1-877-977-3779) with questions.

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