It may be easier for businesses and non-profits to stop direct mail campaigns in tough economic times, but is it a wise long term decision to stop mailing to current and potential customers or donors all together?
It’s not a good idea to stop mailing. You need to keep telling your story, because things will eventually turn around, and those that have told their story correctly will benefit much more in better times than others that will be beginning all over again.
It is a good idea to target your mailing more scientifically by merging your house data files with other lists of people more inclined to give, or mine your data for similar information.
Bill Clinton touched on this during a recent CNN interview with Larry King when discussing his foundation. He sees the only real possibilities of success during this downturn coming not from the major donations he was getting before for his causes, but more smaller donations from a wider group of people: the Obama model. People who care should continue to give something, and there may be others that have not been targeted with the right message that can give $10 or $20 when previously they were put off by the $100 requests.
Now is not the time to pull back, but to get more intelligent and frugal about it.