3 Mistakes to Be Avoided in Direct Mail Fundraising Letters
Raising funds through direct mail is to be regarded as a key and integral part when it comes to every successful fundraising campaign. Making mistakes when writing the necessary fundraising letters can undermine the genuine success of such a direct mail campaign. For instance, a fundraising letter that is intended for direct mail approaches should be made to look as personal as possible – so, you should not fully justify its paragraphs. Instead, you should go for paragraphs that are ragged right.
Also, you should make sure that you indent every first line of your paragraphs in order to make your letter look more informal. Plus, you should avoid the so-called newsletter look even if you are tempted to include various graphic design elements that could make your letter look even better. However, such graphic elements are more likely to reduce the genuine appeal of your fundraising letter mainly because they will make your letter look less personal and fail to make your readers respond to your fundraising efforts. Here are the main mistakes you must avoid when writing letters that are going to be sent via direct mail.
- First, if you fail to ask for the gifts or money you need for your organization, your fundraising letter will become an ineffective item. You must not assume that your reader/potential donor will know exactly what you are expecting him to do. So, you will have to ask for a gift and make sure that the reply envelope is included in your letter in order to make things easier for your potential donor in case that he wants to send his gift to your fundraising organization.
- Failing to personalize each of your fundraising letters is likely to become a very detrimental factor to your fundraising appeals and can even send a wrong message to your potential supporters. For instance, if an individual has already been donating money or gifts to your fundraising organization, it would be a real insult for him not using his name in your fundraising letter. Also, not using his name can also send the wrong message, namely that your organization is actually looking for the easy way out when it comes to the preparation process of the fundraising letter. Also, you should use a window envelope that comes with the recipient’s address and name in order to reduce all the labor that could be involved in preparing the direct mailing and even keep the costs down.
- Bad timing is another mistake that could turn out to be detrimental to your fundraising letter campaign. Keep in mind that timing is a key factor when dealing with direct mail and you will have to make sure that you choose the best times of a year in order to have your letters sent. Also, you must coordinate all your other fundraising activities and have the direct mail campaign included in order to get the necessary media exposure.
Direct mailing needs plenty of time in order to be prepared in the right way and you must make sure that you are not rushed for time. Also, if you think about including specific reply by dates in your fundraising letter, you must make sure that you allow each of your potential donors enough time to respond.