church communications mobile technology

How To Increase Easter Offerings With Direct Mail

Easter offering, direct mail w QR code
Written by lvaillancourt

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This is a guest post by Leslie Vaillancourt. Read more about how you can guest post on Christian Web Trends here.

More people come to church on Easter Sunday than on any other day – in normal times.  COVID-19 has upended church attendance and their budgets. With limited to no attendance allowed for Easter Sunday Services in 2021, it is more important than ever that churches engage with their congregations and give them options to easily make an offering.  Here we discuss how one tweak to your direct mail communications can result in greater online giving.

Is your church planning to send out a postcard reminder about Easter Sunday Services, a newsletter or other communication?  Carve out a corner of the mailing to focus on offerings. COVID has forced churches to embrace online giving and it has become the main way donors are giving during the pandemic. Many churches today are using text-to-give for their online giving option but using a QR Code can be even more effective.  Why?

  • Scanning a QR Code is interactive and immediate
  • No typing required
  • No text code or number to remember
  • No apps needed – most smartphones can read a QR with the camera

The good news is that it is not hard to integrate a QR Code into your direct mail.  If you are comfortable with technology, you can generate your own QR Code.  If not, there are turnkey services available that give you the QR Code, process transactions and deposit the funds directly to your bank account.  Let’s walk through the process of getting and using a QR Code.  And if you read to the end of this post, you’ll find bonus information about how you can get a discount on postage by including a QR Code on your mailing!

Where do I get the QR Code?

There are many QR Code generators to choose from.  A simple google search for “Free QR Code Generator” will give you plenty of options. But take care when simply generating a QR Code that links to your giving page.  There are a few factors you should take into consideration before using a QR Code for giving.

Donation Pages Must Be Mobile Friendly

Anyone scanning the QR Code will likely do so with a mobile device.  Therefore, you must be sure your donation page is designed for mobile.  If a donor scans your code and finds that the donation page is difficult to use, they will most likely abandon the transaction.

Avoid Long Donation Forms

If a donor scans your code and is directed to an extremely long form, the chances of abandonment are high.  In today’s digital world, consumers value quick and easy transactions, preferably in just a few clicks.  If they feel the process is going to take too long to complete, they may not even start.

Mobile Wallets Required

Along the same lines as above, if a donor must go to their actual wallet, pull out their credit card and input the information, they may be discouraged.  Again, think simple, quick, and easy.  Most users of mobile devices today are familiar with mobile wallets and have at least one configured on their device.  Take advantage of this to make the giving process seamless.

Offer Multiple Payment Options

For online giving, credit cards are the most popular option.  But for any organization interested in engaging with GenX and Millennials, offering a way to give directly from a bank account is key.  If possible, offer a way to give with either credit cards or bank account.  If you are interested in increasing the number of monthly donors, make sure there is an option to give monthly too!

Turnkey Options

If you are not sure about generating your own QR Code and ensuring it works efficiently, there are turnkey options on the market. Here are two of the most popular:

CheqrPay

CheqrPay is an online fundraising platform designed specifically for nonprofit organizations.  In addition to traditional online fundraising pages, they also offer a QR Code for every campaign.  When scanned, the QR Code leads to a branded, mobile optimized, mobile wallet equipped payment page.  Donors have the option of giving with credit card or logging directly into their bank to make an online transfer.  Monthly and one-time giving options are included. There is no need to download an app or create an account for donors to use this service.

PayPal

PayPal launched their QR Code service in 2020.  Log in to your PayPal account to download the QR Code associated with your account.  By scanning the code, the PayPal or Venmo app will launch and allow the donor to make a payment.  With this service, users must have a PayPal app already installed on their device to make the payment.  PayPal also charges a premium on transactions completed by scanning the code.

Bonus – Postage Discount

The United States Postal Service is encouraging marketers to take advantage of interactive direct mail by offering the “Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion”.  The promotion runs from March 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021 and offers a 2% discount on postage for any mail that incorporates an interactive QR Code.  Keep in mind that the mail piece must be submitted for approval one week before it is mailed.  More information can be found at https://postalpro.usps.com/promotions/2021-emerging-tech.

Because of the pandemic, churches have been forced to quickly adopt new technology to engage with their congregations.  Direct mail is still one of the best ways to reach out and connect.  By including a QR Code on your direct mail to the congregation, you can encourage generosity in a modern, quick and interactive way.

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    About the author

    lvaillancourt

    Leslie Vaiillancourt is the Founder and CEO of CheqrPay, a fundraising platform for charitable and faith-based organizations.

    2 Comments

    • Leslie, thanks for writing this article. QR codes faded in popularity a few years ago, but now that Apple and Andriod have added native support for them, they are super-easy for people to scan, and therefore a good idea to include on direct mail.

      • Paul, I couldn’t agree more that QR Codes should be included on all direct mail appeals. One of the most effective use cases is including a QR Code on commitment cards. Just make sure there is a monthly giving option on the donation page.

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