Growing Revenue Through Direct Mail

Leveraging effective methods to measure and gain insights into donor motivations

What We Did

Direct Mail

Attendees in a church pew

Allegiance Group + Pursuant recently partnered with the development team at a leading Christian Denomination to help grow revenue through its direct mail program. The organization was looking for more effective ways to measure and gain insights into donor motivations.


Year-over-year revenue increase from direct mail


Increased donor response resulting from included missionary note


Increased mail opens from adding carrier teasers

The Challenge

To fuel its impact on individuals and communities worldwide, the organization was looking for a new way to accelerate generosity through its direct mail program.

From a data perspective, the organization was looking for more effective ways to measure and gain insights into donor motivations. It also wanted to create a more compelling story for direct response audiences. In short, the organization had a chance to maximize both the art and science aspects of its program.

The Solution

Elevating the direct mail program meant an overhaul. For the first year of implementation, a series of theme-based mailings reflected:

Compelling Creative – For all appeal letters, stronger imagery and more emotive storytelling were used to entice donors, while consistent colors and tone reinforced the organization’s brand. A new eight-page newsletter was sent instead of a letter for two mailings. Converted from a former organization magazine, the newsletter was intended primarily as stewardship, to build donor loyalty by sharing stories about the impact of their generosity. Allegiance Group + Pursuant worked closely with the organization on content development, and both issues of the newsletter included an ask, while a cover letter, reply slip, and reply envelope rounded out the package.

Strategic Testing – In the past, each of the organization’s direct mail packages were mostly the same. Implementing a test and control strategy for every appeal, Allegiance Group + Pursuant conducted iterative testing of design elements, letter content, and variables such as gift arrays and reply copy. Every element was intentionally designed to determine, “Would it resonate with donors?” Analyzing the results made it possible to build on learnings in future campaigns.

Personalization and Segmentation – Customization is key to building donor loyalty; every donor wants to feel special. Allegiance Group + Pursuant was able to merge data with creative, deploying direct response best practices like adding the donor’s first name to a salutation and customizing gift arrays to reference a past gift. Insights gained through testing also made detailed segmentation possible, targeting donors with an affinity for certain aspects of the organization’s work or capitalizing on how they responded to one package versus another.

The Results

As part of the program reset, the organization’s donor database underwent a conversion, so results will become more evident in the second year. Direct mail revenue did increase 25% year-over-year, and many insights were gained. For example…

  • The two newsletter mailings outperformed the appeal letters.
  • Customized gift arrays with a circled ask increased response by 4%.
  • Including an engagement device (note to missionaries from donor) increased response by 5%.
  • Adding carrier teasers to entice donors to open mailings increased response by 3.5%.

Learn how we can help you deliver hyper-personalization to your organization