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Writing a terrific fundraising letter is a waste of time
if your donor throws your entire package in the trash
unopened. And that happens more often than any of
us dare to think about. That's why your envelope is
so crucial to your success.
Your envelope serves two functions and two alone. It
must:
deliver your appeal to your donor
persuade your donor to open and read your
package
Getting your appeal into the hands of your donor is
not hard if you mail to a good list, either your own
house list or a rented list of quality prospects. But
persuading your donors to actually open your
envelope and read your appeal?and respond to it
with a gift?that's the difficult part.
Your envelope faces a number of challenges.
Your donors are busy
Like you, your donors are busy. They are preoccupied
with meeting their sales quotas, finding a good
paediatrician, fixing  monster beats dr dre studio the leak in the roof, spoiling their
grandkids, finishing college with an A average, buying
a more reliable vehicle, meeting their deadline,
meeting their life partner, and making ends meet. In
the middle of their busy life, your fundraising appeal
drops through the mailbox. Should they open it, lay it
aside for later, or chuck it? Your envelope will likely
decide which.
Competition from other charities
If your donors are typical, they receive solicitations
from other non-profit organizations each week. Your
envelope will likely be one among many. How will you
stand out? How will you persuade your donor or
prospective donor (or former donor) to open your
envelope first?if at all? Your envelope is your first
chance, maybe your only chance.
Competition from other mail
Your package  beats by dre pro prices is also competing with electricity bills,
bank statements, pizza flyers, credit card
statements, personal letters, credit card offers and
junk mail. Your reader will open these pieces of mail in
a particular order, starting with the most pressing.
The size,  dr dre solo beats shape, weight and look of your envelope will
determine if it gets opened or not.
Competition from other media
You are also competing with door-to-door
fundraisers. And telephone canvassers. And telethons
(television fundraisers). Not to mention the evening
news, sitcoms, today's newspaper, CNN.com and a
literal host of radio shows and satellite TV channels.
How can you get your fundraising appeal letter
package to break through this noise and reach your
donor? You need to start with your
envelope.
The benefits of getting your appeal letters
opened and read are tremendous:
you will likely immediately boost your response
rate, since more donors will read your appeal and
respond with a gift, all  beats by dr dre pro for sale other things being equal
you will increase your gift income, since higher
response rates mean more gifts
you will reduce your cost to raise a gift, because
the increase in revenue will offset your mailing
costs
you will improve your renewal rates, since more of
your first-time donors will open, read and respond to
your subsequent appeals
you will reduce your attrition rates, because you
will keep more donors engaged and interested in your
cause
None of these benefits will be yours unless your
donors open your envelopes. That's where the battle
for your donor's head and heart begins. Don't lose the
battle there. Create envelopes that are simply
irresistible. Here  beats by dre pro headband replacement are some tips.
Oversize Window
If you are mailing  solo dre beats a premium, have it appear through
an oversize window.
Unusual or Unexpected Dimensions
Switch from a #10 window to something larger or
smaller.
Unique Addressing
Address the letter by hand.
Use Every Inch Available
Put a dramatic photo on your envelope that
stretches from one side right across to the
other.
Tease the Donor Inside
Ask a question or pose a riddle that is answered
inside.
Multiple Windows
Put another window on the envelope and have
something interesting show through from the
inside.
Don't Use an Envelope
Mail your letter in a box, a cylinder or something else
that stands out.
Postage
Use a commemorative stamp.
Lumpy Mail
Put something three-dimensional, like a wrist band,
in the envelope.
Put the Donor on the Envelope
Put a message to the donor on the front or back,
using their first name.
Add a Personal Touch
Hand-write a note.
The possibilities for creative and compelling envelopes
are limited only by your imagination (and your budget,
of course!). Strive to create the most irresistible
envelopes you can, with every package you mail, and
you will be rewarded with higher response rates and
higher income.
? 2006 Sharpe Copy Inc. You may reprint this article online and in print provided the links remain live and the content remains unaltered (including the "About the Author" message).
--
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alan Sharpe is a professional fundraising letter writer, instructor, coach, author and newsletter publisher who helps non-profit organizations to raise funds, build relationships and retain loyal donors using cost-effective, compelling, creative fundraising letters. Sign up for free weekly tips like this at

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