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 86 parts this insightful, practical series is building, over time, into the complete step-by-step guide to direct mail fundraising.

Tutorial 49: persuasion or exaggeration?

by Jerry Huntsinger

Jerry Huntsinger is in a more philosophical mood this week. Here he discusses the fundraising writer’s role in ethics.

Read more

Tutorial 48: seven golden rules for the reply form

by Jerry Huntsinger

Seven golden rules to follow that will really make your reply form work.

Read more

Tutorial 47: answering questions I wish someone would ask

by Jerry Huntsinger

Jerry Huntsinger asks a string of questions that should be asked, then says you shouldn’t allow your keyboard to filter your personality or your voice. And you can find out how his gardener, crazy Eddie, invented a new take on the Johnson box.

Read more

Tutorial 46: premiums: how to use them and abuse them

by Jerry Huntsinger

Jerry Huntsinger has a pet theory about premiums – otherwise known as incentive devices – based on the principle of tactile response. A human being listens, sees, reads, smells, feels the wind and often receives sensory information through handling an object with his fingertips. So if a donor is reading a letter and nothing else it is easy for his concentration to waiver. Click here to find out what you can do instead of blowing wind in your donor’s face.

Read more

Tutorial 45: why I still hate the reply device

by Jerry Huntsinger

Here Jerry Huntsinger says that he really dislikes reply forms, then explains why. You will also learn how to improve this very important device so that it becomes an integral and powerful part of your appeals.

Read more

Tutorial 44: sudden death

by Jerry Huntsinger

When a reader picks up your non-personalised letter, you have about five seconds before your letter suffers sudden death: one ... two ... three ... four ... five – and that’s it.

Read more

Tutorial 43: leads for personal letters

by Jerry Huntsinger

A personal letter gives you more time to capture your reader’s attention: about 10 to 15 seconds! Jerry Huntsinger shows you how to get right to the heart of the issue with subtlety, gentleness – and persuasion.

Read more

Tutorial 42: for new letter-writers.

by Jerry Huntsinger

If you aspire to create great direct mail these latest insights from Jerry Huntsinger are a must-read, for you. 

Read more

Tutorial 41: to write a better letter, go fly a kite

by Jerry Huntsinger

Jerry says you will be more successful at writing a letter if you learn and practise a trick of professional writers – a cooling off period at specific intervals in the creative process.

Read more

Tutorial 40: writing letters to men, part 2

by Jerry Huntsinger

The first part of Jerry Huntsinger’s tutorial on writing for men prompted the comment: ‘What a well put together article. Something I've often thought, but not in such a clear way. It's given me some ideas!’ SOFII is sure you to will find some new ideas in the second part of this interesting tutorial.

Read more

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 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 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.

See all

Gwen Chapman

The Jerry Huntsinger Tutorials are edited and presented by Gwen Chapman.

Gwen 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.

See all