How to Write Membership Copy That Works

Sustainer Member Essentials


Here you'll find concrete tips and best practices you can use to make your writing as powerful as it can be.

Effective copywriting inspires and sings. It’s focused and direct, personal and positive. And it doesn’t sound or read much like institutional boilerplate. Rather, it sounds like a trusted friend having a conversation with you about their favorite public radio station. Whatever it is you’re writing – a fundraising letter, web copy, an automated email response – read it aloud and listen to the voice you’re creating. Make sure that voice sounds friendly and open, consistent…

Quick rules for effective copy

  • Begin with strength
  • Set the stage quickly
  • Keep sentences short
  • Be clear
  • Use active language
  • Speak to one person
  • Be specific about the ask
  • Ask more than once
  • Always speak to you
  • Show, don’t tell
  • Find a hook or theme
  • Develop an emotional / rational case
  • Don’t ramble
  • Create a story
  • Share the details
  • Repeat words and phrases
  • Avoid -ing verbs
  • Not if, but when
  • Avoid which or that
  • Never we need

Words that work

  • Innovative
  • Smart
  • Moving
  • Real
  • Passionate
  • Inspiring
  • Powerful
  • Necessary
  • Vibrant
  • Accessible
  • Extraordinary
  • Compelling
  • Original
  • Thrilling
  • Diverse
  • Life-changing
  • Strong
  • Honest
  • Fearless
  • Rich
  • Compassionate
  • Add your favorites…