One of the most silly but common critiques of direct mail ("why direct mail is awful") centers around the use of underlined copy.
It's so tacky.
I happen to agree that it's tacky. But my esthetics carry no weight in this question. Neither do yours, or anyone else's -- especially the board member who says the runaway use of underlining is either why direct mail won't work, or a reason we should avoid it at all.
Thing is, underlining works.
Get used to it.
And while you're getting used to it, get good at it!
Here's help from The Better Fundraising blog, at How to Choose What to Underline and Why, particularly things not to underline in your direct mail:
- Avoid pronouns. If you underline a sentence like “They need it now!” the donor does not know who “they” are and what “it” is.
- Don't underline too much. Too much underlining has the same effect as no underlining. Keep to three or four underlinings per page.
- Don't underline things you care about --emphasize what donors care about. Really avoid braggy statements, statistics, or flat declarations of facts.
- Don't underline boring. Choose drama. The whole purpose of underlining is to draw readers' eyes to stuff they're most likely to read.
Using underlines is smart direct mail fundraising. Doing it well is even smarter!
Want to work direct with me on response-positive things like this? I'm available for free 25-minute coaching sessions. Just click here and directly schedule an online conversation with me or with Sean Triner.