7 Ways to Keep the Faith-based Campaign Strong
As with most direct mail, the outer envelope can make or break the mailing. Copywriters should be actively involved with the outer’s conception and design. “I tell copywriters to spend 50 percent of their time on the carrier,” says Zodhiates. “If they don’t get that right, and you don’t get the recipients to open the envelope, the best letter in the world does you no good. The carrier is absolutely crucial for the success of the package.”
Rossi agrees, and adds, “I like carrier envelopes that intrigue me, look important or make me curious.” But he also cautions that designers and copywriters don’t go overboard in dressing up that outer; instead, they should fit the look to what they are trying to accomplish. “‘Good’ does not necessarily mean ‘classy’ or ‘expensive-looking.’ In the wrong context, those can be negatives,” he asserts.
Besides piquing the prospect’s curiosity, outers also can promise a benefit or use some news of the day. “Whatever it takes for them to open the carrier,” urges Zodhiates.
4. Tell Them What They Will Gain
A benefit can be defined as “an advantage or profit gained from something.” It’s less material and more ethereal in the case of the faith-based benefit, but make no mistake: It remains a benefit, and it’s key to making a potential donor feel connected to the cause. “You have to make it clear that they’re making a difference on a practical issue or something along those lines. Every fundraising effort has selfish motives for people to give, but [presents] different angles to give it,” explains Zodhiates.
In Rossi’s opinion, the worst mistake in a faith-based mailing is a poorly crafted or confusing offer. “Generally, I follow the same fundamental rule I would use when crafting any direct response offer—your gift of A, by B, will accomplish C. I try to inject as much emotion as possible into my descriptions,” he states. And he says he tries to never forget that what he’s really selling is benefit to the donor.