I received a matching gift appeal from Amnesty Int’l USA yesterday. Might have been good, as this outfit generally has pretty strong appeals.
But I didn’t read it.
Nothing typographic invited my attention. No boldface at all. (Ok, I often argue against boldface in real personal letters, but this wasn’t the cacse. Not even personalized salutation.) Minimal if any underscoring. Not much in the way of block indents.
But the real problem was small type. Times Roman or something close. Looked like 11′, uncommon, so I’ll guess 12′. A tad weak in ink.
My critical eye kicked in and I gave up when I saw it was a three page letter. Two sheets, only three pages.
No cost savings in stopping at three pages. No personalization, so that wasn’t a factor. (I usually reco personalizing pages 1 and 4 for salutation and ask variables.) But it stopped at three pages when it could have increased the type size by 30% and run it onto page 4.
I’m seeing huge, horsey 15′ and 16′ Courier significantly beat 12′ in clean tests. I often write to 14′ because that’s as big as I can get and still have a reasonable word count on standard size paper.
Testing tell us what works but not why. Conventional wisdom says donors are older. I’m no kid and appreciate a good size font.
What’s easy to read in 12′ Courier is much easier to read in 14′! Beyond that, they type looks weird to me. I pull the page back to put it in perspective. Doesn’t matter: BIG WINS.
I’d never stop on page 3 when I can make the type bigger. Run the copy onto page 4. And test your four page control letter in a six-page format with 14-16′ type. I’ll bet a dollar on the big stuff.