[Previously posted on advocace.com…]

Direct mail remains the best vehicle for non-profits to reach their donors—but, if you want to increase you direct mail response, there is a hitch.

It seems a pretty substantial amount of the US population has wanderlust. You know, the desire to get up and move. Yes, literally move—as in “pack up the moving van, ‘cause we’re out of here” type of move.

At first blush, I thought this couldn’t be possible. But, as I thought about it more, I discovered this not only plausible, but true!

Everybody’s on the Move

First, the facts.

The United States Census Bureau published information from the 2016 Census showing 11.2% of the US population moved in 2016. What’s more astonishing, is they reported this as a historically low move rate.  The U.S. Census Bureau began tracking this information in 1948. Just so you’ll know, the highest percentage of moves occurred in/around 1984. You can find the graphic here >>

With what I found at the Census site, I began to think about our  team’s tendency to relocate. Out of our staff, two-thirds relocated within the past three years. And, one-third of the thirty-three percent had moved twice within that time-frame.

Correct Addresses Increase Your Direct Mail Response

How does this apply to your direct mail program?

It means, you need to update the mailing addresses of your donors. Just think, if only 11.2% of your donors moved every year, over a three-year period that means 33.6% of your donors moved. Do you really want to lose 33.6% of your potential donations due to bad USPS addresses? I bet not!

Check with your printing/mail house company to see if they have NCOA (National Change of Address) licensing. If they don’t, there are third party organizations that can help you update your list for a fee. And, if you just want to “test drive” updating your donors’ mailing addresses, Experian offers a free trial.

We believe in the power of direct mail. If you need help with communicating with your donors, here’s a great eBook from Advocace—How to Effectively Communicate with Your Donors. You can download it here >>