Don't Suffocate Your Readers
So let me share with you something — a fabulous vision a little voice inside my head (that of Jerry Huntsinger, the dean of direct-mail fundraising himself) pestered me with back when I was 30 …
Let your letters breathe
White space is a lovely thing; it’s like oxygen for the eyes.
Don’t be afraid to set your margins for 1.25 inches. Be bold. Draft a letter in 13-point Courier. Indent here and there. Go for a series of tabbed
paragraphs separated with ellipsis.
Let one line be its own paragraph.
More than once.
When you’ve aired out your copy, print it out. This doesn’t work staring at a computer screen. Holding a printout of your oxygenated letter, you’ll know where to make the type boldface and where to add underlining.
Your goal: to lead your donor’s grateful eyes through your letter and capture his attention in the right spots.
Otherwise, you risk sabotaging even the best offer, the most
compelling story and the most carefully crafted argument.
Because if he can’t read it, he can’t get welled up with empathy or outrage, and you’ve missed the precious opportunity to bond with him over a shared concern, whether he sends a check this time or not. Tragic. (And doubly so, because your outer envelope did its job and got opened!)
But, good news! This tragedy is easy to prevent. Just remember to breathe!
Kimberly Seville is a freelance copywriter. Contact: email@example.com.