There’s a science and art to direct mail fundraising. Whether you are targeting prospective contributors or past donors, your direct mail should possess an attention getting design with copy that convinces recipients to give. Here are some tips for creating fundraising direct mail that raises more money in less time.

When it comes to fundraising direct mail, it’s important to keep your recipients in mind. The vast majority are what’s called the 10 Second Club. These are people who glance at your mailing and promptly throw it away in their trash can. This takes them around 10 seconds give or take. Then there are the Skimmers. These are the folks who actually read the headlines and look at the pictures on the way to their trashcan. These households are either somewhat interested in your campaign or candidate or the kind who like to skim every piece of mail before they throw things away. They generally give your direct mail piece 20-30 seconds of their time to ensure they don’t miss anything.

Then there are the pgimg_mail_orderreaders, the folks who actually take the time to read your direct mail piece. They’ll spend 1-2 minutes reading your headlines and focusing on your copy. These are the voters most interested in the issues or race. These folks tend to be older, retired and the kind of folks who enjoy receiving and reading mail.

Despite the fact that most people just throw direct mail away, it still works. How do you make it work for your campaign? By recognizing that most people will only hold onto direct mail for 30 seconds or less. This calls for using tried and true methods to make your mail memorable so it’s successful.

So rather than worry about the “immediately throw out” crowd, let’s look at the ways to design fundraising mail that’s compelling for the scanners and the readers. And whether you’re a scanner or a reader, you’re more likely to read mail that has lots of white space, bolded and italicized text, bullet points, pull quotes and quality content.

The key to good copy is remembering what people read first. This is why it’s essential to include a headline that’s a call to action. Use bolded words, captions and your P.S. to tell your candidate’s story and ask for contributions. Then you can use the remaining space to fill in other necessary information.

When asking for contributions ask for specific amounts. Studies show people are more likely to give and give more when asked to give a range of specific amounts. If targeting past contributors, these amounts can be specified based on what they’ve given in the past. For new contributors, these numbers can be based on general numbers or what the target market can most likely afford to give.

If you are sending direct mail fundraising to past donors, avoid sending the same mailers. Be sure to change things up, especially if you plan to send mailers out once a month. Send newsletters, updates, annual and campaign appeals, invitations to keep your mailings varied for your contributors and prospects. The last thing you want to do is bore or bombard your contributors.