There is a big hidden cost of trying to do it all yourself; the “high cost of low cost” as one of our colleagues says. While purchasing the paper writing a letter, and stuffing envelopes yourself seems like it’s the better way to go, you lose two things: effectiveness and efficiency. The case for using a professional service provider isn’t just the out of pocket cost. There are hidden costs that impact your ROI.
1. Professional service providers add value by bringing to the table experience gained from working with similar organizations. Marketing agencies have worked with other organizations like yours and you can benefit from that experience and track record. They have had many opportunities to refine and improve the messaging, design, and delivery. Do you want to hire the people who’ve done it effectively hundreds of times, or trust your own first-time judgement?
2. Marketers have years of experience writing for organizations they don’t have a personal interest in. This distance allows the marketer to do what is best, rather than what they think their boss wants. Being able to detach that investment makes for more effective marketing.
3. You are paying for service so that you can do your job, not ours. Thinking of DIY marketing campaigns? Are you prepared to become a marketing agency project manager instead of a fundraiser? How much time will it take to manage the entire creative and production process? Do you have the experience and talent to write effective copy? What about assessing effective design and photography? Do you have time to research and compare bids for a print house? What about checking colors and proofs? Is your branding and quality representative of your organization? Ready to deal with postage permits and USPS red tape? Ready to haul the boxes of mailers to the post office? It’s a lot of work. We know – we do it all the time and love it!
4. Taking time away from your duties costs you lost gifts. The week(s) you take off to write, design, print and mail your campaign costs you way more than the difference between postage and paper and the agency’s cost to professionally manage the project for you. You are losing traction and momentum in your own fundraising; maybe even lost gifts because you were distracted.
5. Direct marketing works while you sleep. Don’t wait to kick off your campaign. Now is better than never. A week of blind cold calls is a week your marketing campaign could have been in mailboxes, inspiring your donors to respond, bringing in a steady trickle of qualified leads and gifts.
6. While it requires funds upfront, a direct marketing campaign will help raise more. Which is preferred: A campaign that only cost $600 + days of DIY labor that raises $3,000, or one that cost $4,000 that raises $10,000, and allows you to continue your fundraising duties?
Don’t let the fear of investing in your marketing result in more work for lesser results. Pay now, or pay later, but the results will be better if you invest upfront!