Webinar Follow-up: An Hour With Roger Craver
Q: What about formatting like using bold text, underlining, italics, etc.
RC: Formatting techniques should be used appropriate to the style/tone of the message you’re creating. Both underlining and boldfacing words stops the eyes and calls attention to that message block. The technique therefore is appropriate. But be alert to the fact that it can be overused. Picture the reader in your mind’s eye, and let that picture guide you on what’s appropriate and what’s not.
Q: What is the percentage of women DM donors vs. men?
RC: Overall, about 55 percent women, 45 percent men. Of course, some causes skew because of the affinity nature of the organization. Women’s rights organizations tend to be female-gender dominant, sports organizations male domininant.
Q: Should you have a PS, and how important is it?
RM: Research shows that people mostly read just a little at the top and skip to the bottom of the letter to see who signed it. People also read the PS very frequently. You should assume that the PS will be read over the main body of your copy. Therefore, it is crucially important to have a PS. As a general rule, the PS restates the core ask and tells the donor where her money will go or what difference it will make. The above is the same for e-mail.
Q: Roger, why have social-service agencies (children's groups, etc.) had trouble effectively using direct mail?
RC: Those organizations that focus their acquisition programs on monthly sponsorships generally use television and telephone conversion rather than mail. This is because TV best communicates the emotional dimension of sponsorship, and the telephone is the ideal conversion/selling medium for larger and more complex gifts like monthly installment contributions. However, mail is and has been used successfully for many child-related causes. CARE, Project HOPE, Heifer Project, etc.