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[Word Wise] 3 Appeal Letter Copywriting Formulas that Pull Gifts
February 26, 2013

Word Wise Newsletter

Helping You and Your Organization Get Powerful Results With Words

Volume 9, Number 2 ... ISSN: 1933-9690

Dear fellow writers and strategists,

Welcome back to Word Wise! Once or twice a month, we’ll send you this newsletter packed with practical and useful information you can use in copywriting for your small business or nonprofit – whether you’re a marketing professional, nonprofit leader, or copywriting newbie.

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FEATURE: 3 Appeal Letter Copywriting Formulas that Pull Gifts

Image: Green Eye for Design

Here are three of the most popular copywriting formulas to use in appeal letters (and letters of all types, for that matter.) Each lists the same elements in simple outline form, but each with a different approach. Different writers are inspired in different ways. Try these formulas and use those that help you write the best appeal letter.

AIDA: a Conceptual Formula

The acronym stands for four conceptual elements that are crucial to an effective letter: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.

Attention: Grab the reader’s attention with an interesting fact, story, statistic, or startling statement about your cause.
Interest: Keep the reader’s interest by explaining the need further – and why your organization is the answer to the problem. Here is a great place to unpack a beneficiary’s story further and show how your organization helped her solve the problem.
Desire: Build the reader’s desire to alleviate the problem by showing what she can do to make a difference.
Action: Move the reader to in a call to action with clear instructions about what she should do, when she should do it, and what will happen if she doesn’t do it.

The 4 Ps: Task Formula

Picture: Paint a picture in the reader’s mind that grabs their attention and explains the problem your organization addresses.
Promise: Point out the benefits your organization offers as it solves the problem. Readers need to see that you offer a solution to the problem.
Proof: Demonstrate credibility for why and how your organization can keep that promise and solve the problem.
Push: Make an Ask with urgency to get readers to take the next action now.

Star-Chain-Hook: Word picture formula

Star: start with an attention-getting opening that is positive and upbeat.
Chain: create a chain of convincing facts, benefits, and reasons that transform the reader’s attention into interest and interest into desire.
Hook: entice the reader with a powerful call to action, making it easy to respond. Even if one or two links in the chain are weak, a strong hook at the end will compel the reader to act … reeling him in.

Read all the details about these copywriting formulas here …


Nonprofit Copywriter Freebie Roundup

Image: Bob Bly’s Marketing Handbook

We are always on the lookout for no-cost resources. And we love to pass them along to you, whether it’s webinars, downloads, ebooks, or courses. Here are the latest freebies posted recently on Nonprofit Copywriter.

Free Online Writing Course: Netwriting
A 49-page course that teaches you the process of writing a web page that "gets the click."

Free Guide: 9 Ways to Write Better Email Subject Lines and More
Part e-book, part checklist, part infographic, and 100% great information about writing concisely, but with compelling content -- especially for places where you don’t have much room.

Marketing Grader
A free tool that analyzes your online marketing efforts – your website, blog, social media sites – and lets you know lets you know where you're succeeding, what you need to improve, and how to do it.

Marketing Handbook from America’s Top Copywriter
Bob Bly’s B2B Marketing Handbook (a free PDF download) outlines handy and helpful ways to communicate the value of your service, product, or cause, especially as you divide your budget and time among new communications vehicles.


More on Basic Copywriting ...

Basic Copywriting: What Is It and Why Do You Need It? A Newbie Copywriting Glossary, Part 1: Internet Acronyms A Newbie Copywriting Glossary, Part 2: Ten Basic Terms Essential Elements for Powerful Nonprofit Copywriting


Finally . . . A Wise Word

"There are two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there."
Indira Gandhi (1917-1984)
Indian politician and prime minister

Read more wise words about work ethic for copywriters and nonprofit leaders.

That’s it for now. See you next time

Until then ... happy writing!

Kathy with Nonprofit Copywriter
Email me with your comments and questions!

P.S. Invite friends and colleagues to subscribe to Word Wise. Forward this issue or send them a link to Nonprofit Copywriter where they can sign up.

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