I often advise people who are writing email newsletters, for example, that if you highlight everything by overusing bold and underline, you end up highlighting nothing.
I should have followed my own advice when reading The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications: Real-World, Field-Tested Strategies for Raising More Money by one of my favorite bloggers and direct mail fundraising experts, Jeff Brooks.
When I read it back in the fall, I underlined and dog-eared all the advice I thought I would include in a blog post about the book. But I highlighted waaaay too much stuff to the point that I would definitely be violating copyright laws if I shared it all here with you. The book is that good – you should definitely buy it.
But, all that highlighting left me unable to write a timely review because by highlighting everything, I highlighted nothing. So, without further delay, I am randomly selecting a few of the many passages I highlighted to share with you here . . .
(page 12) You have to move donors from a state of inaction to action. You do that with three elements:
- Your call to action requires immediate action.
- Your message communicates what is at stake if the donor doesn’t act.
- You are talking to one person.
(page 38) “So many fundraisers think the size or intractability of a problem is what makes it compelling. What they’re missing is that donors don’t want to solve a problem because it’s big. They want to solve it because it’s solvable.”
(page 98) There are three “design laws” for direct mail:
- Make it plain.
- Make it corny.
- Make it obvious.
Do yourself a favor and get the book. It’s a short, easy read packed with clear advice you can use today. I bet you’ll have the same problem with over-highlighting that I did!
(Book links are to Amazon.com)