Everyone will be feeling the pinch – more expensive food, more expensive energy, more expensive fuel… more expensive everything.

For charities this is not good news, as when household expenditure rises, donations dwindle.

As a result, two marketing objectives take precedence at this difficult time:

  1. The retention of existing donors
  2. The recruitment of spontaneous one-off gifts

For objective No.1 data plays an important role. It is critical that charities are reaching out to their regular donors in a meaningful way to ensure that the relationship is maintain, particularly if the donations dry up during this exceedingly difficult period for many households. Contacting people that have moved house (and despite the depressing economic climate, home moves are still far outstripping those in 2019 – the last ‘normal’ period before the onslaught of covid) or those that have passed away is not only a waste of precious marketing spend, but it is also incredibly damaging. Research shows that the bereaved tend to blacklist charities that accidentally contact their loved ones after their death. Consequently, keeping your marketing data in excellent shape is vital. Even if you are battening down the hatches and sending out fewer marketing comms in a cost savings exercise. Like housework, it is far easier to keep on top of data hygiene than it is to have a full scale clean, particularly given objective no.2 below.

For objective no.2 we are already seeing a rise in one-off giving communications which encourage people to make a one-off donation, however, small to a certain cause and it is likely that this form of marketing activity will continue to grow throughout the rest of 2022 and into 2023. Email would normally be the channel of choice for many charities as it is quick, cheap and far reaching. However, the most recent research from the DMA shows that charity email effectiveness has dropped by half with click rates dropping to just 2.9 per cent. Email click rates for most other sectors have risen significantly demonstrating that it is specifically donors that are being turned off the channel – its not a widespread phenomenon.

It is important therefore during this crisis that marketers are making the best use of their marketing budget, and in comparison to email, direct mail effectiveness is soaring. Volumes are up, mail stickiness is up, passibility is up and open rates are also up. It is also currently the most trusted form of advertising by consumers. Consequently, for charities looking to secure these one-off donations direct mail is a strong bet. And to come full circle this is another reason why data maintenance is critical right now.

If you are a charity and need support with your data maintenance, please get in touch with us. We can ensure that your hygiene pays for itself in terms of driving campaign effectiveness, which in the current climate is a no-brainer.