The Best Way to Ensure That No One Reads Your Stuff

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

make your donors readRecently I told my writer that most people won’t read her body copy. That hurt her feelings. She was upset and reacted harshly to my comment.

It’s not that you’re wasting your time writing body copy. In fact, body copy is very important and necessary. I mean… You can’t just give your supporters a bunch of headlines. Something has to follow the headlines, right?

But David Ogilvy, widely hailed as “The Father of Advertising,” once said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

Headlines are as close to a magic bullet as you’re going to get, and if you’re going to be perfect in only one place, do it here. Write a strong headline that works. And, in the case of email marketing, that means you should spend time writing a strong subject line and then a strong headline in the email.

It’s the 80/20 rule for communication effectiveness.  80% of your time should be spent on 20% of the copy (the headline) since most of your results will come from that element of your communication effort.

If you ignore this recommendation and spend 80% of your time on the body copy, you’ll ensure that no one reads your stuff.

Do you have any tips you’ve used for your fundraising copywriting? Sound off below!

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