News & Insights

6 important benefits of print media for your charity​

24 February 2023

There’s no denying that things are tough right now.

With the ongoing cost of living crisis, inflation, and energy bills continuing to creep up, we’re living in challenging times – and supporter behaviours are changing as a result. This means that it’s more important than ever before for charities to ensure their brand makes an impact.

It’s easy to think that digital is the best way forward: after all, it’s cheaper than print – and anyway, print is dead, isn’t it? But let us reassure you that is most definitely not the case. In actual fact, there are a number of benefits to print media for your charity – now more than ever.

The power of print

Yep, despite what many have been led to believe, print still has real cut-though, particularly amongst harder-to-reach segments and high value customers – and especially for charities.

Did you know, for example, that 79% of gifts for charities come from direct mails? Or that 56% of donors believe that print is the most trustworthy communication channel? In fact, 33% of donors would even go so far as to take a negative view of a charity not offering printed communications.

See – we told you print was powerful!

With unique opportunities to reach donors directly in their home as part of a connected media campaign, in these challenging times print media is an essential part of your fundraising toolkit. So, read on to discover the benefits of print media for your charity…

6 unbelievable benefits of print media for your charity

1. It’s trustworthy

Without a doubt, one of the biggest benefits of print media is that donors are more trusting of physical mail.

For starters, it is delivered by the postie and is a comforting part of everyday life. Plus, people value print as a communication channel because it is personalised and they feel as if more effort has been put in, as opposed to email or social media which are often seen as taking much less effort to send.

Royal Mail found that 87% of people think that messages delivered by mail are believable, compared to 48% for emails, with 70% of people saying mail gives them a better impression of the company and 70% saying it makes them feel more valued.

So, it’s no wonder that 56% of donors think print is the most trustworthy of all channels.

2. It can be used in a multi-channel approach

One of the most powerful ways to use print for your charity is by using it as part of a multi-layered campaign for maximum impact.

By complementing direct mail with rich, online content, for example, you can benefit from even greater engagement and maximise conversions.

The stats speak for themselves, with 35% of donors saying they prefer to respond to direct mail by giving online, and campaigns that combine digital and print delivering 25% higher responses than digital campaigns alone.

Plus, when an advert is seen online after a mail has been received, people tend to spend 30% longer reading those ads.

3. It has staying power

Print has always had staying power, and mail by its very nature is a high attention media channel.

However, recent JICMail statistics have shown that there has been a significant increase in the amount of mail UK consumers are reading – making print more powerful than ever before. In fact, the report found that 74% of mail was read and 45% was retained for over a week.

This is true for all types of print media, with the report finding that the average piece of direct mail is interacted with 4.4 times and stay in the home for an average of 7.4 days, whilst door drops are interacted with 3.1 times and have a typical dwell time of 5.9 days.

Finally, not only has consumer engagement with mail improved, but so has commercial effectiveness, with 15% of mail prompting a discussion – the highest rate in two years. You see – that’s pretty powerful stuff!

4. It evokes an emotional response

Another important benefit of print media for charity is the emotional response that physical mail provokes.

There’s a deep emotional response triggered by the sensation of touch, with mail having a profound and direct impact on the brain. This means that with the right messaging, print media has the power to evoke emotions and drive your supporters to take action.

So, whether you want your audience to engage with your cause, appeal for donations, or simply increase awareness, print is the way forward!

5. It reaches people who are often unreachable

Think that print is just for older generations? You thought wrong!

Don’t believe the myths that mail usage is old fashioned. In fact, new audiences are interacting and engaging with print media more so than ever before, especially due to higher numbers of people working remotely.

According to the Royal Mail, millennials interact 38.3 times with direct mail – and heavy digital consumers are known to interact with PAM and door dops.

JICMail have also found that audiences such as multiple children households, working parents, and young professionals are interacting across all mail too. Plus, mail retention has increased by a whopping 44% quarter-on-quarter for highly affluent segments and A groups, as well.

6. It’s cost effective

We’re all watching the pennies right now, and the great news is that when it’s done properly, print media can be one of the most cost-effective ways for your charity to engage with your audience.

Traditional print media can be precisely targeted at an audience or geographic level, which means you can determine the quantities needed to achieve your goals from the beginning.

Plus, print campaigns such as direct mail are exceptionally trackable, thanks to the ability to run an address level match-back of the customer file to the mailing file to understand the campaign performance.

By assessing which campaigns work best, you can then use the insights gathered for future campaigns, too.

How Join The Dots can make print work for you

So, the power of print is undeniable – and there are numerous benefits to using print media for your charity. However, in order to make print work for you, you need a strong understanding of your customer data so you can understand how best to reach your audience. And that’s where we come in!

As a specialist media agency, here at Join The Dots we are guided by data and insight and place strategy at the heart of everything we do.

We will work in a transparent, sustainable manner to help you reach your goals, creating multi-channel campaigns across all types of media to ensure you get the results you need. Plus, because we’re media neutral and completely independent, you can count on us to create a truly bespoke campaign that works for you.

Ready to join the dots and make your media unstoppable? Contact our team today to find more – and in the meantime, why not see for yourself how we helped RSPCA generate an additional 87% in donation revenue using print media?

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