Thinking lots about copy this week, as appeal drafts come across my desk, and the blogosphere seems to be a buzz with copywriting tips.
In fact I'd recommend two excellent posts worth checking out. There's Agent Jen Love's piece entitled Dear Mr Fancypants and Jeff Brooks' seven more ways to write better fundraising copy.
Really good 'cut through the clutter' stuff from Jen and Jeff.
Last year I gave my own take on simple, but effective copywriting tips here.
If you think about what you want people do when they read your letter:
1 You want them to nod their head in agreement as they read
2 You want them to get past the first page (best way to do this is getting them nodding, as per point 1. To do this, introduce a story really early in the copy, showing the impact their support could have illustrated with a real, human story).
3 You don't want to distract them. So avoid saying things like ' please refer to the enclosed brochure'. Keep them focused on the letter.
4 You don't want to treat them like they haven't read a letter before. I really don't think people need to see the words 'please turn over' at the bottom of the page. In fact break the sentences at the bottom of each page, enticing them to read on.
5 You want to compel them to stop doing whatever they were doing, finish the letter and so what you asked them to do (support financially, fill in a survey etc).
Simple, huh? It is, follow the ten steps in this earlier post and you're well on your way.