By Admin
14 February 2023

Interacting with Donors via Automated Direct Mail

Non-profits and charities heavily rely on the contributions of donors who financially support the mission and the visions of the organisation. 

We know that donors vary in their donating patterns and types, from Prospective donors to Legacy and Major donors.  As such, the different segments should be communicated with in different ways and frequencies with appropriate messaging and Calls to Action. 

Unless your Charitable or non-profit organisation is digitally native, Direct Mail (DM) will not be a new concept and you will know DM provides a creative, non-digital, physical and tactile space to tell a story and incentivise an emotive response.

However, no one thing makes a direct mail campaign a success. As with most types of marketing and in today’s ‘always on’ world, Direct Mail has to feature as part of an Omni-channel approach.

Automated Direct Mail & Digital Work Together

  • Direct mail with digital ads yields 28% higher conversion rate.
  • Marketing campaigns that used direct mail and 1 or more digital media experienced 118% lift in response rate compared to using direct mail only.
  • Website visitors who are retargeted are 70% more likely to convert.

While mail has to grab recipients' attention from the doormat and tell a good story, it also has to reach the right audience in the first place, be genuinely personalised whilst complying with data protection regulations, arrive at the right time, and be as environmentally friendly as possible.

We’ve pulled together some top tips and other stats sourced from around the web:

Get Personal

  • Adding a person’s name and full colour in the direct mail can increase response by 135%.
  • Adding a person’s name, full colour and more sophisticated database information can increase the response rate by up to 500% vs not doing any of these things.

Size Matters

physical mailer size

Response Rates Over Other Mediums

Mailer type

Response Rate

Oversized Mailings


Standard Postcards


Letter Envelopes



'Doormat presence' makes a difference - larger formats deliver better response rates.

Other compelling facts that should not be ignored:

  • Targeting customers on a 1:1 level increases response rates up to 50% or more.
  • 40% of a direct marketing campaign’s success is in the data.
  • 73% of firms aspire to be data-driven but only 29% of firms succeed at turning data into action.


Summarising the stats

To achieve the optimum results, you should make sure:

  • The mailing is oversized
  • Personalise as much as possible
  • Combine with a digital campaign (email or ads)
  • Get the timing right

ZAP~POST ticks all these boxes and more.

Staying Power

The physical presence of a piece of Direct Mail is something that people can – and very often do – hold on to, and share with friends and family.

Recent JIC mail data shows that Charitable Direct Mail can stay in the home for 6 days or more, and is often shared up to 4 times with friends, family and other household members. 

Philip Ricketts, Wholesale Commercial Director, Royal Mail comments:

“Mail remains a critical medium for charities in today’s fast-paced omni-channel world. It allows charities to put a targeted personal message directly into the hands of their chosen audience. It offers charities an unmatched ability to tell their story and guide donors to engage further, whether that means going online for more information, making a donation via post, phone or online or strengthening donor relationships.”

Source: UK-Fundraising

Automated vs Traditional Direct Mail

Check the article on the differences and the prerequisites for Automated Direct Mail.

ZAP~POST is a new Automated Direct Mail platform, that can securely and easily link to CRM & data sources to ‘trigger’ Direct Mail for different donor ‘segments’ so the appropriate message, with the relevant imagery and Call To Action lands with the intended recipient at exactly the right time, completely personalised to them.

Interweaved with your larger and less frequent full and traditional donor mailing pack mailings, ZAP~POST is the answer to sending something tangible in print that makes donors feel appreciated and therefore more likely to interact.

Direct Mail can resonate with donors much more than digital channels. As Andy Powell, Creative Director, GOOD Agency says

“Direct mail is the best of all worlds”.
“Create worlds in people’s homes. With stories of hope, powerful truths and urgent frontline updates. But don’t act like an uninvited guest – badgering donors before they’ve had their first coffee and cornflakes”.

Source: UK-Fundraising

See Autoamted Direct Mail Campaigns available for Charities and Non-Profit-Organisations  

Less is Best

By sending direct mail automatically, you can reduce your volumes and increase response rates which has the obvious environmental benefit of less waste, whilst delivering on the financial goals of any Campaign.

Also worth noting, as standard, ZAP~POST cleanses the recipient data using both Royal Mail PAF check, and a Goneaway and Deceased check, meaning your donor campaigns will achieve much higher response rates and ROI compared to traditional large volume ‘scatter gun’ mailings.

If that doesn’t tick all your Social Responsibility boxes on its own, this might:  Our template options are all printed on FSC-approved paper stocks and for every 100 Zaps we print, we plant a tree as part of our commitment to the environment and being members of the Eden Reforestation Project.  And then, every ‘Return to Sender’ Zap is shredded and ends up back on your kitchen table in its reimagined state as a kitchen paper roll.


Balancing Campaign budgets and determining the split between Digital Media, Direct Mail and Automated Direct Mail need not be a difficult equation.  As with all marketing, its a case of test and learn.  For Charitable and non-profit organisations particularly, where resources may be stretched, factor in the time it takes to effectively deliver a Direct Mail campaign too.

Book a demo to see just how much time you'll save.