Your direct mail letter is your case for support. Just like a case for support, it should include key elements such as stories, photographs, the why now, supporting information and a call to action.
- Research shows that people read direct mails letters by looking at the salutation first, who signed the letter and the post script last. Then they may decide to read the rest. Restate your case in the post script.
- Make the first paragraph personal, specific and compelling. Write as though you were holding a conversation with one person. Make your copy speak to the reader by including you and your often. Have empathy with your reader and communicate a winning attitude.
- Show a need, a solution and how your organization can provide that solution. Then tell your donor how he or she can be part of the solution. Compliment the donor.
- At the end of the first page, continue a sentence onto the next page. Ask for the gift once, twice, three different times in different ways. Use short sentences and short, indented paragraphs. Give exact instructions for sending gifts of money.
- Use bullets, underlining and headlines to emphasize your points.
Incorporate white space to increase the readability factor. Write in present tense using active verbs. Longer letters out-perform shorter letters. Finally, proofread, proofread and proofread again. Typos can come back to haunt you.
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