Friday, August 28, 2009

Ten copy tips for your next appeal

Here are ten simple tips that will be useful when developing copy for your Christmas/Seasonal appeal.

1 Adopt the adage: tell em what you're going to tell em, tell em, and tell em what you just told em.

2 Get an ask in early. At least once in the first three paragraph's.

3 Make the ask specific, based on their previous giving levels. At Christmas ask for a little more than they've given historically and explain why. You need the money.

4 Repeat the ask several times, at least once per page. Make sure there is an ask at the end, and in the P.S.

5 Tell it as it is. But a word of warning. An interesting learning we had of late, if the subject is controversial and graphic in nature, test it. You run the risk of 'turning off' certain donors. Test the way you talk about a topic that is particularly sensitive. One version where you tell it like it is, the other version softened a little.

6 Refer to past support wherever possible. If you are talking about the work in Sudan, reference that Mrs. Smith has told you that's the area she's most passionate in or that she has supported before.

7 Make it warm and personal. Don't 'we' all over your copy. It ain't about the organization, it's about individuals.

8 Tell a really good story. Does it make you feel really uncomfortable, even cry? It should.

9 Make sure it easy to understand what you want the donor to do, by when and how.

10 Break sentences so they spill over the next page. It entices the donor to read on.

Use these as a checklist. The more you tick, the more money you'll generate.


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