Fundraising, Direct and digital marketing, Marketing & communications

Improve your direct mail and email marketing: ten top tips

Nick Day shares some top tips on email and direct marketing.

Direct mail and email marketing can be absolutely key in delivering your message.

1. Great headlines are the make or break

With attention spans shortening, you need to grab attention with a headline or subject line that instantly engages. Posing questions can be a great way to draw the audience in.

2. Personalisation is more than just ‘Dear John’

The more you can demonstrate that you understand what matters to your target audience, the more personal and relevant your communication will be.

3. State your proposition boldly and clearly

Never lead with an apology! Be warm and friendly, but also assertive and confident. You are a charity – asking for money is what you do! Your proposition should address questions like: What does this matter? Why should I care?

4. Use simple, direct and everyday language

No one likes jargon and abbreviations that they don’t understand – so write in a language most people can understand.

5. Showcase real people making a difference

The best images show people delivering or receiving the benefit in the field. They’ll make your message much stronger and help the audience to relate to the cause more easily.

6. State what the reader’s support will help to achieve

What difference can I make? If I give £20 what could you buy with this? If people don’t feel an amount they can afford will make a positive difference, they will be less inclined to give.

7. State how the reader may benefit

Trying to make greater use of the word ‘YOU’ helps focus the mind on what the potential supporter gets out the relationship.

8. Don’t try to be too clever!

The most effective messages are usually simple and straightforward.

9. Demonstrate clarity, brevity and clear focus

This help to instil trust that donations will be spent wisely, rather than wasted on frills and fads.

10. Provide a choice of amounts to give

Signposting and directing increases response rates and amounts given. Providing a choice of 3 or 4 amounts to give with ‘Other Amount’ last is much more effective than ‘Please give as much as you can afford’.