An occasion where copywriting can cause life-changing, even life-saving results is when it’s used to raise charitable donations for organisations like the Red Cross, or in this case study, Macmillan Cancer Support where donations make up 98% of their income.
Macmillan Cancer Support provide practical, medical and financial care to people affected by cancer.
And in the mail today I received their direct mail package which I wanted to share with you as an example of a charitable marketing piece that encourages you to engage with the content.
I have seen the Red Cross run exactly the same promotion, and so I hope it is something that is working for charities at the moment. The letter is trying to get you to enter in a raffle for prizes.
The organisers have made it very easy for you to enter, right down to printing your name and address on labels that you can fix to your raffle ticket stubs to stop you having to write them out by hand.
1: Personalisation gets attention
Takeaway points from this first page include:
- The power of personalisation – Did my name and address printed multiple times on a sheet of labels get my attention? Definitely.
- Make the call to action easy – As a youngster who would sell raffle tickets for school, I remember the pain of writing the name and address on the tiny stubs. Stickers felt like cheating! (But I preferred it).
- Start with the interests of your reader – A lot of charity direct mail pieces I’ve seen begin with what they want or need. In this case, they’re smart to appeal to the interests of their reader first, while following up with the help they need afterwards.
2. Vivid descriptions build credibility
On the second page it begins by reminding the reader how different amounts can help the charity and the people they serve. It’s incremental up to £25, and for each amount there are very specific descriptions of what the donation will pay for.
Points to note on this page include:
- Be specific and descriptive – Tell people exactly what they will experience with your product or service and you’ll make it easier for people to understand (and appreciate) what they are getting in exchange for their money.
- Make the deadline of your offer clear – You can see if included as a subheading on this page
- Give your reader confidence to accept your offer – There is also the choice to enter online if people have concerns over security.
3. Human stories are engaging
On the third page we see a very touching story where Macmillan nurses have provided support and care to a family affected by cancer. Again, it is specific and descriptive, while handling the subject with respect.
- Show case studies of your work – Showing the positive effect you have on your customers through case studies is effective in getting people to trust you (and realise your value).
- Show the human side of your business – You may not have as emotional stories about people as Macmillan do, but you do have a human side to your business, and people are drawn to human stories in marketing. Can you show what happens behind the scenes at your business? Or tell the story of one of your customers?
4. Super simple call-to-action every time
Page five contains the call to action, and you can see that they aim to make it simple, and compelling for you to take action by:
- Providing clear instructions about what to do next
- Using a QR code to provide an easier alternative for those happier to work via the internet
- A speed draw incentive to encourage a fast-response
- A reminder of the benefit you might enjoy by entering
5. Give them an unexpected treat in your content
In addition to the letter and the raffle tickets, there was one more item included, a recipe card for chocolate and pecan brownies. It’s printed on nice card, and what’s great (for me) is that the recipe is pretty simple.
- In your content marketing, create pieces your customers want to hold on to – while a recipe card might not relate directly to donating to a cancer support charity, it does do a couple of other things: 1. It makes me feel I can treat myself to this recipe and enjoy a bit of indulgence. 2. It makes me feel obligated to give something back seeing as they have given something to me. (A very common marketing technique).
So yes, I bought their raffle tickets and sent them off happily.
Hopefully though you can see some techniques used in a persuasive campaign such as this, that you can incorporate into your own marketing.
Have you tried a similar approach in your marketing, either by offering a raffle or a competition to encourage people to engage with your content? If so, let us know how you got on.