The Importance of Timing


When you think about improving the results of your fundraising marketing campaigns, you may think about the list, the offer, the variable fields, and the messaging, but how often do you think about the timing?  

The timing of a mailing is something that too often gets overlooked.  For example, a marketer's focus may be on the mail piece landing a day or two before a specific date or event.  But what happens if something goes wrong?  What if your "one day" Saturday promotion is designed to hit mailboxes on Friday but gets stuck on the loading dock for an extra 24 hours. Nonprofit mail, especially, is difficult to time precisely as it can take several weeks to deliver.  

For other types of marketing, such as email marketing, it is important not only to determine what day a message should be sent, but also what time of the day.  For example, if you are doing email or text messaging follow-ups, some recipients may want to receive contacts in the middle of the day (right as the fundraising campaign is kicking off), while others may see that as an intrusion and prefer to wait until they get home.

Setting the timing of your campaign components requires an understanding of who your donors are and what their preferences are.  Sometimes the timing is obvious (such as sending holiday greetings one or two weeks ahead of time). Other times, they may require more insight.

For example, one organization took the time to create a beautiful, glossy postcard to invite community members to attend an upcoming event. The marketing director purchased a list of names of business owners in the immediate area to make them more aware of the nonprofit and its needs. The postcards were delivered to the right people and on time, however the event conflicted with an annual Chamber of Commerce event that the business owners attend each year.  Since the goal of the nonprofit event was to introduce local business owners to the organization, it would have been helpful for the marketing director to know the schedules of some of the business owners or check the Chamber of Commerce event schedule for potential conflicts.

When it comes to relevance-based marketing, it is important to think beyond the data and also consider critical timing. Need help determining the best time to send your personalized mailing and multi-channel components like email and text messaging? Need to understand more about delivery times for nonprofit mail? Give us a call!


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