Interesting discussion on re:charity, at Why Do Charities Send Address Labels and 4 More Thoughts.
It started when a Canadian lawyer kvetched about getting address-label mailings from nonprofits. He makes the common error almost everyone makes about address labels in fundraising: He thinks if he doesn't care for them they are a failing tactic being used stupidly.
I can't vouch for all fundraisers. Some may be using labels in stupid, wasteful ways. But not the fundraisers I know.
Address labels are a legitimate way to raise funds. They work. They don't work exactly the way other types of mailings work -- but if you do them right, they can be part of a growing fundraising program. They aren't for everyone, but they might be for you.
The fact that you don't mail stuff any more and thus don't need address labels tells you nothing about the efficacy of address labels.
Here's what they do:
- They boost response.
- They decrease average gift.
In other words, they tilt the volume/value balance toward volume: More donors, but of lower value. And that can be just fine. I know several organizations that have co-controls in their direct-mail donor acquisition programs: A labels package that generates volume, and a non-labels package that generates value. These are often sent to two different list categories to maximize the favorable balance.
We'll talk tomorrow about whether or not you should consider address labels (or other freemiums). But don't let the "I don't like them" fallacy be your guide.