Direct mail is a printed piece that arrives in your target audience’s’ mailbox. This communications tool provides a variety of messaging options. For example, you can:
– invite people to your church who are not currently participating at your parish and may not even be aware of its existence
– inform recipients of upcoming events or projects the parish is sponsoring, such as Advent and Christmas Mass times or a mission retreat/speaker
– ask for participation in a special fundraising initiative
There are special rates available that help make this outreach more affordable, such as presorted first class mail. If you are mailing to more than 200 homes, you could qualify for the USPS Marketing Mail program (also known as bulk mail or standard mail). Also, nonprofits receive additional discounts. Nonprofits must apply in advance in order to qualify for the discount. Information about the requirements can be found at: https://pe.usps.com/businessmail101?ViewName=NonprofitPrices
Also, USPS has a program that lets you select a target audience for your mailing by choosing zip codes or neighborhoods in your area. This program is called Every Door Direct Mail. This program can be especially helpful if sending out invitations to those households surrounding the parish.
In preparing a direct mailing, please keep the following in mind:
– It’s important to consistently tie in your mission, brand colors and logo to help create awareness for your parish.
– You have only a few seconds to pique interest. Consider including a short, bold statement in large letters with a short paragraph of text, or a compelling photo with close-up faces to attract attention.
– The pricing is affected by the weight of your mailing
– While it is helpful to have a unique shape and size to attract attention, certain sizes and dimensions will cost more.
– Have your mail sorted by zip code, or barcoded if possible.
– Apply for prepaid permit (indicia) or utilize a mail house to avoid the annual fee ($225).
– Direct mail works best when it’s integrated with digital channels. It’s a good idea to have consistent messaging in all of your communications and reinforce the message across all channels of communication.