X-ray of a donor newsletter -- "Know your bones"
Isn't it weird that we all have bones?
Even as a kid, you know they're in you, under your skin.
But they're out of sight. So, you forget.
Donor newsletters are the same way. If you don't "X-ray" them to see their bones, making sure everything is in its right place... you might be in for some preventable pain.
Let's prevent that pain!
(As featured on The Case Writers website.)
Let's take just one page.
Zoom in: page view...
Focus: top of page...
And let the X-raying begin!
X-ray: image, headline, caption, label...
- The image quality is good.
- Nothing about the image distracts from its subject.
- The image features a seal's face (aka, the face of a beneficiary) looking at you with big eyes.
- The headline tells an before-and-after story
- The headline's caboose is powerful: "home."
- The arrow draws your attention to a note of gratitude that includes the word "YOU" (in all caps).
- The caption starts with "You."
- The caption tells the gist of the story you're about to read.
Focus: paragraph #1...
X-ray: the bones of paragraph #1...
- This is a story of one beneficiary. (Keeping it simple. Confusion does not move donors to take action.)
- The headline starts with a name, Zehr, which is nicely specific.
- The headline expresses gratitude to "you."
- The second sentence starts with "You."
- The paragraph retells the "before" of the before-and-after story (i.e., story of need).
- The last sentence shows the donor's impact: "...your generosity gave her a second chance at life..."
- The last sentence ends with "you."
X-ray: the bones of the testimonial...
- The testimonial includes a photo of a smiling person.
- The testimonial includes a pleasing change of font style, color, and formatting... for variety and emphasis.
- The testimonial serves as social proof. (She liked it — you probably will too!)
- The testimonial breaks up the paragraphs. (Chunking helps!)
Focus: paragraphs #2 and #3...
X-ray: the bones of paragraphs #2 and #3...
- The first sentence starts with "You'll."
- The first phrase is bolded for emphasis and variety.
- The first sentence evokes pathos/emotion. (Donors who FEEL more CARE more and GIVE more.)
- The second sentence shows the donor's impact in action, so they can feel: "You Were There."
- The second sentence respects the beneficiary's dignity and agency.
- The second paragraph reiterates the need and forecasts what the impact will be with the donor's help.
Focus: paragraph #4...
X-ray: the bones of paragraph #4...
- The first sentence starts with "You."
- The first phrase evokes pathos/emotion.
- The first sentence shows impact: Zehr had a "lightbulb moment," thanks to the donor.
- The second sentence thanks the donor for this impact.
- The second sentence depicts the "after" of the before-and-after story (i.e., story of impact).
- The second sentence represents a happy ending.
- The last word is "wild" — which means "the seal is going home." (And this last word echoes!)
- The last character is a ❤️. (Again, invoking feeling as well as donor identity: "Yes, I am a person with heart. I think I will donate to help more hurting animals like Zehr.")
X-ray: Call-to-Action (CTA)...
- The CTA engages the donor.
- The second word is "Your."
- The next sentence also includes "you."
- The CTA directs more people to the website.
- The design of the CTA adds color and variety.
- The CTA contrasts with the nearby paragraphs to stave off the mind-numbing effect of a "wall of text."
- The CTA fosters action, which lifts donations.
Prognosis: These bones (knock-knock) are solid...
So, this newsletter is X-ray-approved!
While you're here...
Why not read a little more?
Here are a few more blog posts you might like:
1. Thank You for the "Mental Real Estate"
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