A Donor at Rest Tends to Stay at Rest: 6 Ways to Motivate Donors
You can’t argue with physics.
The law is immutable and applies to people as well as objects … including donors and prospects.
Your job is to be that outside force — to put your donor in motion, emotionally and physically, so he or she cares about your mission and cares enough to make a gift.
Fortunately, as a cracker copywriter you have a whole host of tools at your disposal to help you lift, pry, shove, compel, jostle, elbow, convince, arrest, inspire and motivate those who read your appeals into action. Here are just six you can start with:
1. Make the reader notice your outer envelope
At the Engage Conference last Thursday (which rocked, by the way!), I got into a discussion with several people about whether to use a teaser on an OE. It’s a good topic, but before you have it, you have to make sure the reader sees your package to begin with.
There’s a lot of competition in the donor's mailbox, so every now and then you need to step beyond that No. 10 white wove envelope. That could mean using a compelling teaser; sometimes it’s an odd-sized carrier or a bright color. But if donors don’t see your letter, the game is over before it’s begun.
2. Compel the donor inside
This is where the teaser (or not) comes in. Sometimes a blank OE creates enough curiosity to drive people inside.
The most important thing to remember about a teaser, though, is that it has to tease. It should not tell the reader what’s inside the package. A photo of a sad child and a teaser like, “Please help her find a place to sleep tonight,” tells the reader all she needs to know about the package. There is no reason to open it unless she is predisposed to give.
Willis believes in expressive writing, exceptional fundraising, and exuberant living.
Willis Turner is the senior copywriter at Huntsinger & Jeffer. He was an experienced writer and creative director in the traditional advertising world for more than 20 years before making the switch to fundraising nearly 15 years ago. In his work with nonprofit organizations and associations, he has written thousands of appeals, renewals and acquisition communications for every medium. He creates direct-response campaigns, as well as collateral materials and communications, that get attention, tell emotional stories, and persuade people to take action or make a donation.