We know how much you loved our last “Direct Mail Direct-ion” tip all about the difference a colored envelope can make, so here’s our next post in the series!

Don’t not make the language simple to understand. We mean, definitely probably don’t make it difficult. We mean— well, I think you get what we mean. Avoiding needlessly complicated wording in a direct mailing can save you and your donor a lot of grief. Put the “direct” in direct mailing with phrases that get across exactly what you mean to say.

 But be aware of a mistake even more egregious than complex double-talk: misleading or false promises to a donor. If your mailing contains an offer for a free item if the donor contributes fifty dollars to your organization, be careful of how that’s phrased on the envelope. Everyone loves a statement like, “FREE TOTE BAG INSIDE,” but a significantly fewer people enjoy opening the envelope to discover that that “free” tote bag they were promised is only “free” with an $80 donation. That trusted personal relationship that direct mail provides can backfire horribly in cases like this even if your mailing wasn’t intentionally deceptive. The donor will feel tricked or manipulated, and once that trust is gone, it’s difficult to gain back.

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