Here are my 10 tips for writing better direct appeal letters. Direct mail? Why would you want in this digital age to send an appeal letter through the mail? They work! While online giving is steadily increasing it still represents only about 10% of all giving to charities. The bulk of charities dollars comes through direct appeal letters. The bulk of a churches dollars comes through the weekend offering. Yet IF you have an effective direct appeal approach you can add to what comes in the offering plate. Also, direct appeal letters can and will help for those times when attendance is low due to weather or other circumstances. The key is knowing how to write an effective letter. Here are my top 10 tips…
1. Write and send them! If you don’t send out letters you are missing out on dollars that could be used for missions and ministry.
2. Don’t be boring. You don’t read boring stuff so why write something boring to send to your members? Make your appeal letters, appealing!
3. Start with a bang! “I cannot let that woman die…” That was how one of my clients started his Christmas appeal letter for funding birthing centers in Zambia. It got my attention!
4. Get in and get out. Short and sweet is better than long and boring. I typically like to have my appeals only run for one page. Long letters tend to get ignored. Short letters are read.
5. Personalize it. Dear Church Member is about as appealing as, well you get it. Put the person’s name on the letter and they are more likely to read it.
6. Use bold and underlined text. People skim letters. Bold and underlined text draws the eye to the important parts of your letter.
7. Use bullet points. Much like bold and underlined text, bullet points makes your letter more readable and makes the message in the bullet points stand out.
8. Always include a PS. Studies show that people nearly always read the PS of a letter. Summarize your letter in the PS. I also like to post how to give online in the PS.
9. Always include an envelope. Your goal is to always make it easy for people to give. A postage paid self-addressed envelope allows them to easily mail checks back to you.
10. Consider inserts. Inserts let you break up long letters which makes them more readable. Also inserts are almost always looked at.
There are my top ten. Writing effective letters can help you maximize giving at your church. In building out your giving plan you should have a direct mail strategy. The letter you send today might just keep you funded tomorrow.
My members get help with their letters and you can get the same help too! Giving365 members send me their letters and I edit them to make them more readable and impactful. Also, I send tons of sample letters to my members for every kind of appeal under the sun. On top of that they get all my manuals for free most of which include sample direct appeal letters. I even have a manual on how to write effective appeal letters called… Turbo Charge Your Letters
Try my plan for 14 days for only $1!$1 for 14 Day Trail offer
The help you need is available for you at a price you can afford! Let me be your coach towards writing more effective direct appeal letters!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach