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Don’t Dump Direct Marketing - Study

9 June 2011 at 3:25 pm
Staff Reporter
New US research finds that integrated Direct Marketing is essential for maximising the long-term value of online-acquired donors.

Staff Reporter | 9 June 2011 at 3:25 pm


Don’t Dump Direct Marketing - Study
9 June 2011 at 3:25 pm

New US research finds that integrated Direct Marketing is essential for maximising the long-term value of online-acquired donors.

Global software provider Blackbaud has published its 2011 donorCentrics Internet and Multichannel Giving Benchmarking Report, which features research on Not for Profit online giving in the context of an integrated direct marketing program.

The Report finds that although multichannel giving has become a popular objective of Not for Profits as a way to build donor support, it is not widely practiced.

The report founds that the large majority of donors give through only one channel and use only direct mail as their vehicle for donations.

According to the Report, the only donors who do significant multichannel giving are new donors acquired online. Large numbers of these donors switch to direct mail giving in subsequent years.

Blackbaud says this is the group of donors for which multichannel giving is crucial for garnering repeat gifts and realising true long-term giving potential.

Rob Harris, a co-author of the study, says the Internet is becoming an increasingly important acquisition channel but has not proven to be as effective for retention.

Harris says it is the ability of online-acquired donors to use another channel – that is, to start giving through direct mail – that significantly boosts the long-term value of this group of donors.

He says the most successful organisations have integrated online and offline marketing teams and CRM systems to develop effective multichannel communication strategies that can maximise donor value.

The research also finds that for donors already on file, evidence of past multichannel giving is not a predictive factor for future retention or long-term value. Traditional direct marketing segmentation variables such as recency, frequency, and gift amount are far more predictive.

Other key findings about online donors include:

  • The majority of gifts are still received through direct mail, although it has become increasingly common for new donors to give their first gift online.
  • Online-acquired donors are significantly younger and tend to have higher household incomes than mail-acquired donors.
  • Online-acquired donors tend to give much larger gifts but have slightly lower retention rates than mail-acquired donors.
  • In aggregate, online-acquired donors have much higher cumulative value over the long term than traditional mail-acquired donors. However, long-term value varies depending on the donor’s origin gift level, and the substantially higher gift amounts given by online-acquired donors can mask issues with retention.

View the full Report at

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