I bet you are starting to receive year-end appeal letters like I am. Have you ever stepped back to examine exactly what they look like?
Are they dense with type?
Is the type font so small you have to dash for your reading glasses?
Is it all one dull black color?
Are the paragraphs so long that you sorta skim the first sentence and then skip on to the next paragraph?
There are attractive photos?
There is nice use of color?
There are boldface headings that make it easier to read?
They use bold type and italics to highlight key points?
The are margins nice and wide?
There is plenty of white space?
Are paragraphs short?
Guess what! What your appeal actually LOOKS like has an enormous amount to do with whether people actually read the whole thing.
So often we labor over just the right words. Lots of people spend too much time writing and re-writing over and over. And finally we have it perfectly written. Then we jam all the lovely copywriting into a very small space.
There is to much to say that we end up shrinking the font. We narrow the margins to get it all there. We throw lots of sentences into paragraphs.
And can you find the appeal?
Especially if you are skimming which is what everybody is going to do!
But we forget to step back and take a look at its overall appearance. The amount of white space on your letter may have more to do with whether someone reads it or not!
Number one rule of writing fundraising letters?
Make sure your letter is easy to read!
(Example: Look at this post and how easy it is to read with all the white space. )