Combining Personalized Mail with sociodemographic data results in a winning campaign for Montreal’s Old Brewery Mission

The Old Brewery Mission in Montreal has been on the front lines of the quest to end homelessness for more than 125 years. To continue its work through this century, the storied organization needed to find new sources of revenue and that required a new approach to its donor lists. For years, it targeted new prospects using lists of magazine subscribers purchased from publishers. “It just wasn’t effective,” says Kim Nguyen, director of development, annual gifts & administration. There was no psychographic information other than the fact that the prospect subscribed to a certain magazine. What’s more, there was no way to know if those addresses were up-to-date. “That’s why we decided to rent a list from Canada Post and to combine it with their Personalized Mail service,” says Nguyen. “And that gave us the best results.”

Targeted appeals increase charitable donations

5% increase in response rate after switching to Canada Post mailing lists
Working with Canada Post, the Mission identified its top donors and the six postal codes where they lived. Historically, the Mission’s largest donors were university educated and owned a detached home near Montreal. For the organization’s 2014 spring campaign, Nguyen rented from Canada Post a list of 50,000 people who fit that profile. Results were so impressive, Nguyen rented 125,000 names for the 2015 campaign.

Each person received a personalized solicitation letter similar in format to previous years; the impact, however, was entirely different. When you reach the right people with the right message, your campaign will be more successful—and Canada Post made that possible for the Old Brewery Mission. The charity hit the right market segment, increasing its return on investment considerably.

Nguyen was delighted with the outcome and excited to share results. “Not only was Canada Post’s solution less expensive, but the response rate it generated was five times higher than it had been with publishers’ lists and the average donation was almost 30% higher, from about $54 to $69,” she says.

To learn more about Canada Post’s direct marketing solutions, please visit

This article originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of Direct Marketing.

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Lloydmedia, Inc is based in Markham, Ontario, Canada, and is a multi-platform media company which delivers a total audience of more than 100,000 readers across four national magazines, three industry directories, and a range of events and online marketing.

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