It’s just one line.
And the very last line at the very end of the letter.
So, you might think that the P.S. at the end of your direct mail appeal is a throwaway line. It’s not.
It’s actually one of the most important elements in your letter.
This isn’t the first time we’ve said this, (and it won’t be the last) but most donors aren’t reading your letters. They’re skimming them. They’re scanning the pages, only stopping on what catches their eyes and then moving on. With your letter, and then with their day.
They may only see the lede (the first couple of lines in the letter), a headline on your response device, and then the P.S.
The P.S. might even be the only thing they read before deciding to keep the letter or toss it in the recycling bin. (Read more about making your letter scan-able here.)
Because of this, the P.S. should have everything that you want the donor to know. Ask, problem, solution, deadline.
If you aren’t sure what to put in the postscript, look at what you’re asking the donor to do in the letter. Send a gift? Return a bounce-back item like a signed card or placemat? If you don’t know, then the donor won’t know either.
Also keep in mind that your P.S. should be to the point and simple. Don’t make it too long, two to three lines is enough. If it’s much longer, then the donor will just see a block of text and scan it instead of reading it.
You may be thinking that it sounds really hard to put all of that important information into just two lines. Yep, it is. That’s why our writing/creative/strategy teams spend just as much time crafting and honing the P.S. as we do the teaser on the envelope. It’s that important.
As always, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about drafting an appeal or fundraising for your nonprofit organization. Or you can find us on twitter: @oneicity
P.S. Even if you just scanned the blog, you probably looked here.