How to Write a Direct Mail Fundraising Letter (Four Tips)Written by Alan Sharpe
1. Address your reader as a friend, not as “Friend.”
When was last time you received a letter from someone dear to you, addressing you as “Dear Friend?” Never, right? The days of Dear Friend letter are dead. I heard recently of a chairman of board of a national charity who has given his charity millions of dollars and hundreds of hours of his time, yet he still receives fundraising appeals from this charity addressing him as “Dear Friend.” Ouch.
2. Arrest attention with an opening that resonates with your donors.
Assume your reader is standing over a trash can with a stack of today’s mail, reading opening sentence of each letter before deciding its fate. You have only a few seconds to grab reader’s interest. So make it a zinger. Here are two openings for same non-profit. Which one grabs your attention and makes you want to read on?
Opening 1: “I am writing to you to ask if you would like to support a low-income housing building project in your neighbourhood.”
Opening 2: “If I invited you to walk over to your neighbour’s house with a bundle of roof shingles under your arm as a gift, what would you do?”
Direct Mail Response Rates Soar With Dimensional Mailers in Business-to-Business Lead GenerationWritten by Alan Sharpe
The toughest job you face as a B2B direct marketer is reaching your prospect with your message. Reaching C-level executives is particularly difficult because they employ mailroom staff and executive secretaries who screen their mail, or your mail, depending on how you look at it. So unless your direct mail lead generation letter or postcard or self-mailer stands out from rest, it won’t reach desk of your potential client.
That’s why dimensional mailers are one of most effective ways to reach elusive prospects with your sales message. A dimensional mailer is simply one that has more than two dimensions. Unlike a letter, postcard or self-mailer, it has three dimensions. Dimensional mailers are usually boxes, but they can also be sturdy envelopes that have something three-dimensional inside. These kinds of packages are also known as “lumpy mail.”
Dimensional mail is effective because it stands out. It gets attention because it doesn’t look like everything else that executive is receiving that day. Dimensional mail is also effective because it always gets opened. I am confident in predicting that no one who receives a box 36 inches long, 9 inches wide and 5 inches deep, bearing prospect’s name and job title on top and an intriguing headline, is going to pitch box in trash unopened. Innate human curiosity is too powerful for that.
TIPS FOR PRODUCING DIMENSIONAL MAILERS
- Use a standard size of box if possible to save on printing costs (talk to a printer)
- Put something in box that is valuable, or fun, or both
- Make sure what’s in box ties in with what you are selling
- Make your sales message inside box easy to find and easy to understand