How to Bore Your Constituency

How to Bore Your Constituency


Copywriting is easy. Right?

Just hammer out that planned giving appeal letter yourself, and save some money. While you’re at it, throw in a donor story for good measure — and create your own landing page content, too. What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty.

First, you could have sent 100 personalized cards thanking prospects.

But worse … Just ask the nonprofit that mailed out 2,000 copies of a donor appeal letter written for “free” by a well-intentioned board member. They received just 5 responses — and each one was an angry “no.”

Two of the respondents were upset by the phrasing of the ask. One wrote, “I’ve supported you for years, and now you have the gall to ask me for more by reminding me I’m going to die soon? I’ll never give your organization another penny.”

The other three non-responders took the nonprofit to task for being unprofessional. “Your third-grade English teacher would be ashamed!” wrote one. “If you wish to ask for money, I suggest you learn how to spell ‘bequest’ first,” wrote another.

And chances are many of the non-responders just trashed the letter.

Another organization decided to change course and produce all their website content internally for “budget reasons.” Six months later, a board member reminded them it was so vanilla and read like a legal library. And could not even be found on Google.

A lot of organizations try to save money by taking a DIY approach to their content, believing the cost of professionally written copy isn’t justified. But what they don’t consider is the cost of poorly written emails, letters, or website content — and the unprofessional image projected by poorly written content.

That expense comes in the form of disinterested donors and prospects who take their support elsewhere; wasted postage (and time); emails that get sent directly to the spam; websites that lack visitors, and landing pages that fail to convert prospects to donors.

And extremely low ROI.

In short, the cost of missed opportunities far outweighs the cost of cleanly written, SEO optimized, donor-centric content.

Considering DIY copy? Consider this first:

  • Content must be written, edited, reviewed (by peers and counsel) and revised, not once but multiple times.
  • Writing content takes time away from what your team does best: raising funds.
  • When you’re trying to create an effective appeal letter, you’re not visiting prospects, closing gifts, or stewarding donors. That is, you’re losing funds.
  • SEO is a moving target. If you want visitors, you need to be ranked high in Google’s search algorithm. That means you need to understand not just what keywords work, but where they should be placed — and when articles need to be updated to boost your SEO.
  • Creating donor-centric copy is as much art as it is science. There’s a fine line between sounding sincere and sounding disingenuous. Crafting effective, engaging content takes experience.

We do it all for you:

  • We know how to write copy that informs, intrigues — we’re the authority on planned giving marketing.
  • We speak donor-centric language. Our copy makes your donors feel — emotions are the key in philanthropy.
  • We’re in the emotional transportation business — we understand the donor journey.
  •  and create landing page copy that converts prospects to donors.
  • We know our way around the ever-shifting SEO maze.
  • We have a team of lawyers who review our copy to ensure it is legally correct.
  • Our copy is carefully edited to ensure it is error-free.

The result? You can focus on what you do best — raising money for your organization.

Categories: Effective Fundraising, Planned Giving Marketing, Marketing Planned Giving

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