8 reasons your direct mail appeal didn't work (Part 3)

By Wayne Gurley

3. You wrote about something your audience cared about, but you wrote it in such a way that it bored them to tears.

Sure, you can have an exciting and motivating message.  But you can write it in such a way that makes your audience yawn and want to throw it in the trash can. For example…

  • You can include a lot of statistics, which are deadly in direct mail.

  • You can write using the institutional “we,” which comes across as cold and impersonal.

  • You can brag about what your organization does or has done, instead of bragging about what the donor has done to help you achieve your goals.

  • You can use big words, long sentences and long paragraphs.

  • You can write at a college reading level, instead of a 6th-grade reading level.

  • You can try to change the way your donors think, instead of meeting them where they already are.

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