The Jerry Huntsinger tutorials

This special showcase within the direct mail section of SOFII comprises a complete series of tutorials from the dean of direct mail fundraising, the USA’s legendary Jerry Huntsinger. In 57 parts plus supporting materials, this insightful, practical series is building, over time, into the complete step-by-step guide to direct mail fundraising.

Tutorial 36: creative rules not worth breaking.

by Jerry Huntsinger

Stop the press. No, really. If you’re about to send out a new direct mail campaign I suggest you have a good read of the latest addition to the Huntsinger tutorials first. This is an absolute essential for anyone in the business of marketing (and that’s really all of us working in charities isn’t it?)

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Tutorial 35: mistakes that Brenda doesn’t need to make.

by Jerry Huntsinger

When a fresh-faced communications graduate hoping to forge a career in direct mail fundraising asked Jerry Huntsinger (the dean of direct mail) to divulge the mistakes he’d made in his early days so that she could avoid them, he didn’t disappoint.

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Tutorial 34: whatever happened to authentic emotion?

by Jerry Huntsinger

In Jerry’s thirty-fourth tutorial he asks, whatever happened to authentic emotion? Inspired by a fundraising letter that arrived through his letterbox recently, Jerry shares with us this example and explains why emotion is the one thing a successful ‘ask’ shouldn’t be without.

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Tutorial 33: 20 dangerous ways to get your letter off to a good start

by Jerry Huntsinger

Here Jerry suggests 20 letter openings to help kick-start that creative void, but they come with a warning…

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Tutorial 32: logic never makes me cry.

by Jerry Huntsinger

Jerry argues that without emotion, your letter will fall flat.

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Tutorial 31: make me an offer I can’t resist.

by Jerry Huntsinger

The problem with nonprofit mail is that often letters ask for a donation, but fail to make an offer.

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Tutorial 30: how to pass judgment on a fundraising letter.

by Jerry Huntsinger

For the attention of those who are responsible for approving fundraising letters: this tutorial is for you.

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Tutorial 29: slash your letter writing time in half.

by Jerry Huntsinger

I’m assuming that you are already familiar with the basic mechanical techniques for creating a fundraising letter. On the other hand, if you don’t know the first thing about writing a fundraising letter, read on anyway. I’ll show you how easy it is and how much fun you can have doing it.

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Tutorial 28: is it time to get rid of ‘dear friend’?

by Jerry Huntsinger

Is there a better way to get off to a good start when writing a form letter? Here are some alternatives you may wish to consider. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether any or all of them are good, bad, or just plain ridiculous.

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Tutorial 27: a good start.

by Jerry Huntsinger

Learn how to edit your letters and begin with that great emotion that often only surfaces until page two.

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Major contributors to this section

Jerry Huntsinger

Jerry Huntsinger is revered in direct marketing circles as the dean of direct mail. 

Some years back Jerry gifted his archive of direct mail tutorials to SOFII and we’ve been serialising them ever since. All 50-plus are gems. Together, they add up to a complete ‘how-to’ guide to everything you need to know about direct mail fundraising.

These tutorials are edited and presented by Gwen Chapman.

Gwen_Chapman.jpg#asset:8990:urlGwen Chapman is a passionate advocate for donor-centric fundraising. She is a senior consultant with international experience in the non-profit sector in Canada, the United States, the UK and South Africa. She explains the importance to these tutorials here.

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