Take note to write a letter relevant to your donors


In the age of constant contact and instant messaging, the art of letter writing can seem quite lost. At one time, writing a letter was the next best thing to a personal visit, as paper passed from the hands of the writer into the hands of the receiver. In efforts to increase delivery speed and reduce consumption, letters are delivered now via multiple channels. Whether in paper or electronic form, letters remain an essential component of business communication. Here at the Steier Group, we rely on letters to introduce, confirm and thank. Letters continue to be a feature of web pages, newsletters and case statements. Here are some tips for keeping your letters relevant:

  • Make it personal. A letter is an opportunity to connect with the reader in a personal way.
  • Focus on your audience. Tell the reader why the message is important to them.
  • Lend a hand. If appropriate, hand write a note. As our interactions become more tech-driven, hand-written notes are less common and more special. For longer letters, hand write your signature if quantities allow.
  • Get to the point. When telling a story, we typically follow a chronological sequence, recanting details that lead up to the action or request. However, this is backward to the interests of the reader. State your purpose in the first paragraph, don’t save it for the close.
  • Create a conversational tone. It should reflect your voice yet be clear and concise. Don’t use unnecessary words or flowery language.
  • Borrow from the pros. Direct mail techniques like underlining or bold fonts, use of color, or adding a P.S., allow you to call attention to important content.
  • Read the finished product – twice. Read for content from start to finish. Make sure sentences and ideas are complete. Then review for grammar and punctuation.
  • Review regularly. Review your letter templates to ensure that shared files create a good impression.

If you have any questions regarding best practices for communicating with those who support your organization or the professional services provided by the Steier Group, please contact me.

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