After months of brainstorming, meeting with teammates and vendors, and double-checking your distribution lists, your creative piece is finally on its way to potential donors. Work’s done now, right? Not so fast. Some of the most important steps are still ahead.


“The work that begins after delivering your direct mail is just as important as the planning and development stages,” explains Judd Plattenburg, president, and CEO of Oregon Printing. “It’s a golden opportunity to analyze data as you start to receive donations. As a result, you’ll gain additional insights and see what tactics are working.”


Oregon Printing offers clients a Direct Mail Planning Guide with tracking forms in the back of it. This helps with the planning stages and is invaluable for determining how time was spent and where dollars went. Using a worksheet at the end of a campaign helps campaign managers track important areas like follow-up communication, mailing list maintenance, lessons learned and results. It also makes it easy to compare your budget against dollars spent on activities such as design, copywriting, mailing lists, images, printing and postage.

The bottom line: analyze your data and do it often. Judd recommends at least two to three times a year. “The more data you analyze, the more you learn,” he explains.


The same is true for your tactics. You can use a variety of tactics and channels beyond direct mail, like social media and special events. Then analyze the results to see what worked with who and where you get the biggest return. “People are diverse, so your campaign tactics should be, too,” says Judd.


When you review campaign performance, keep the purpose of the campaign in mind. Campaigns typically fall into one of two categories: cash flow or raising capital. Cash flow campaigns raise funds for day-to-day operations, and generally tend to depend on direct mail, social media and local events. Capitol campaigns usually generate revenue for big, one-time projects, take a different type of preparation and planning, and generally are tracked differently.


We’re here to help! We have more resources on fundraising, even subjects like how to expand your donor base. Or we can just quote your next campaign as you have designed it. Bottom line, you spend a lot of money on your direct mail fundraising, make sure it works for you. Call us to see if we can help, 937-222-9418.