… when used appropriately, that is.
Many Direct Marketing 101 courses preach that the letter is all about “you” and that use of the word “I” will hurt your effort.
The first part is true. Readers are interested in themselves and their concerns, not in you and yours. BUT …
Ideally, direct marketing is face-to-face persuasion by other means. You need both faces for it to be a dialogue … and, I’ll argue, to be persuasive in many contexts.
Talk about the reader. Position everything as it relates to the readers. But have a voice… an “I”.
If you support the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, you know Sarah and Jim Brady. They each have a distinct voice. Likewise, NRA members know Wayne LaPierre.
“I” am asking for your support. Of our shared mission. Which brings us to “we”.
Those 101 classes also rail at “we” … the royal “we” … the voice of a corporation … and rightly so.
But particularly in fundraising we have the magic “we” – you the reader and I the writer … a “we” joined in a shared mission. And use of “we” when referencing an organization saves excessive iteration of the name. And “we” do share in the mission.