What makes a winning appeal letter?
Following the response we received to our recent blog, Direct Mail Success today we take a closer look at the appeal letter and the role it plays in a successful direct mail campaign.
The appeal letter is not just about soliciting financial support. It is a primary method of engagement with both current and prospective donors, providing the opportunity to inspire, educate and thank your supporters. Therefore a good appeal letter will help you to build stronger relationships with your donors and support long-term donor retention.
Appeal letters are always more powerful when they pass the “you test”. Ensuring that every paragraph is peppered with the words “you” or “your” will leave the reader feeling empowered and central to the achievement to your vision.
It is important that the reader clearly understands the role you want them to play in achieving your objectives and knows exactly what their next step will be. You need to specifically ask for a donation and make it as easy as possible for the reader to comply with your request. The fewer the steps in the donation process the higher the chance of receiving a donation.
And finally we reveal the secret ingredient in nearly all successful appeal letters…..the opening paragraph. At least half the time it takes to write your appeal letter should be dedicated to writing an opening paragraph that is short, punchy and entices the letter recipient to read on. The opening paragraph is the equivalent of a shop window where you put out your most desirable and eye-catching merchandise to draw in a crowd.
You cannot have a successful direct mail campaign without a successful appeal letter. Therefore it is vital that you get this element right. If you have concerns about the letter for your upcoming appeal, we would welcome the opportunity to assist you.