The Next Step for Creating Charity Marketing Campaigns

All successful charity marketing campaigns achieve one objective: reaching more people and generating more income for your charity.

Traditionally, charity advertising solely relied on door to door drops and word-of-mouth. However, today, with the tech trends and the likes of AR dominating the marketing industry, charity advertising campaigns need to innovate. A combination of both direct mail and digital is the next logical step, and we’re sharing how to get the most from your prospects and, subsequently, donations.

charity marketing

Traditional charity marketing

Direct mail has always been the bedrock of producing charity advertising campaigns and, luckily, the medium is once again experiencing a significant boom in 2018, with the likes of Facebook, Google and World Water Day turning to the communication method to appeal to more consumers. However, many charities are still not exploring the vast potential of multi-channel marketing – particularly with the substantial increase in mobile phone use over the past ten years. In many ways, it’s a shocking fact that the text message is over 25 years old, but the first text-to-donate charity platform was not launched until 2010. It’s only now that many brands are beginning to use this mainstream fundraising channel as part of their marketing techniques.


Charities need to innovative

The world is changing, and charities need to adapt to gain a foothold in the market. The total number of registered charities in the UK stands at a staggering 167,972, and that’s an awful lot of competition when utilising one advertising channel. There are even estimated to be more charities, subsidiaries of larger names. Likewise, there are over 1 billion daily active users on Whatsapp, but we are still waiting for a charity to utilise the potential of the platform. Charity: Water is a non-profit organisation, with 100% of donations going straight to charity funding. This charity focused on using new media channels, while still utilising the potential of traditional mediums, and created marketing campaigns, such as ‘donate your birthday’. Similarly, Help Refugees’ Choose Love shop is a charity with a difference. All visitors to the shop – selling coats and mobile phones etc. – will leave empty handed, with their physical items donated to those in the midst of the refugee crises. The key to the success of these charities is that they utilised all advertising channels to their maximum potential. Shout the loudest, and you will be heard.

While we are certainly not saying you must throw away your previous charity marketing strategy to survive in the modern world, you must incorporate the latest trends. Doing so will far expand your reach and existing customer base. Direct mail marketing can significantly lift your responses, with the DMA recording their highest ever open rates. As mentioned above, multi-channel marketing can prove invaluable for your charity advertising – targeting audiences online and at home. It’s the top channel for direct responses, with direct mailing achieving a 4.4% response rate, compared to 0.12 for email marketing. Overall, the DMA found the direct mail marketing open rates to be up to 30 times higher than digital advertising in some cases, so advertising mail is far from dead. Your charity needs to look to all mediums and work together to produce the most powerful charity marketing campaign.


How to produce a successful marketing campaign

As a mailing house, we have produced several successful charity marketing campaigns. All had one thing in common: a clear marketing strategy.

Charity advertising

Set goals

Every charity marketing plan must have defined objectives and goals to work towards. Without these set goals, you are likely to fail when attempting to measure the success of your campaign. Perhaps you want to achieve a fundraising target, make improvements to your brand or simply boost the online profile. Clarity is key, and we also suggest making your targets relatively niche. Aiming to become ‘the UK’s leading charity’ is too vague and, therefore, hard to measure. However, attempting to reach a specific age group is more manageable, and can be tracked online and through your direct mail marketing campaign.

We also recommend consider the environment and analyse the key factors affecting your charity, making your brand message as clear and relevant as possible.

Consider data

You need accurate data – it’s as simple as that. If you know who you are targeting, you can tailor your marketing campaign towards their needs. You should always aim to be as specific as possible, and collecting accurate data ensures the message is correct. With the GDPR coming into effect, data is the priority. While you must consider GDPR consent as part of your plans, direct mail marketing doesn’t require consent if your company can prove the advertising mail is of legitimate interest.

Clear brand message

With correct data, you can begin focusing your marketing strategy. As part of our direct mail services, we suggest segmenting your audience to be as relevant as possible. Therefore, you can target your message at particular audiences. For example, your copy for company directors will read differently to that of prospects over retirement age. In the digital age, you have to fight hard to be heard, so your content should be as powerful as you can possibly produce.

Prioritise segments

As part of your brand marketing – particularly when it comes to charity mail – you should prioritise segments. You need to choose who to target and who will be of the most benefit to your charity marketing. You can do by conducting a review of previous charity advertising campaigns, analysing the most significant responses.


The importance of trust and transparency must not be underestimated when it comes to the likes of charity mailers. For example, do specific opportunities make your brand seem more approachable. Direct mail marketing is utilised due to the opportunities for building relationships with prospects. However, you should also consider the likes of social media marketing when improving transparency. Perhaps your charity would benefit from the team on social media?


You should always measure your charity marketing campaign to ensure you achieved your objectives. Put metrics in place to track the targets, or look to see how your advertising is performing. Measuring both online and offline is crucial, and can be done quite quickly. For example, track the number of visitors landing on a specific URL. Likewise, include QR codes of individual URLs to your charity mail to track the visitors and responses to your direct marketing.

The above steps are integral to the success of your charity marketing, and easily achieved. If you are utilising the direct mail services of a mailing house, we suggest discussing your objectives beforehand to ensure you are working from the same page. If you would like to talk through your charity advertising with one of our team, you can get in touch today.

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