3 Ways to Stay On-Message for Maximum Response
To be effective, your offer should do a number of things. It should present donors with a specific opportunity to do good. It should convey donor benefits, which can be tangible (like a premium) and intangible (like making a difference). It should tell your donor what to do and why. It should convey some sense of urgency, either implied or explicit (like a specific deadline to respond). And it should show your donor that she’s getting a good deal.
You want to incorporate as many of these “shoulds” as you can when crafting your offer. That might seem like a tall order at first. But once you get into it, you see that the strongest offers are often the simplest, such as, “Your gift of $25 will save the life of a starving child in Africa,” “Your gift will double in impact to send lifesaving medicine into poverty zones in Tajikistan,” or “Just $1.75 will provide a Thanksgiving dinner for someone who’s homeless.” Granted, getting to this level of simplicity isn’t always easy, but it’s worth the effort. You naturally want your offer to be as donor-focused as possible. So take the time to think about the most enticing opportunity you can present to your donors that allows them to fulfill their need to be good people making a difference in the world.
2. Always keep the offer in front of you
Once you craft your offer into a clear, compelling statement of need and donor opportunity, write it out and put it in front of you. Yes, write it out and keep it in front of you as you develop your appeal. Even though this step might seem too basic to bother with, especially if you have several appeals under your belt, you ignore it at your peril. Fact is, it’s just too easy to come up with a good offer and then let it languish, ignored, while other issues like lists, formats, copy style, images, executive-office approvals and countless others clamor for attention. If you want to make sure your appeal stays on-message, do this — write out your offer and keep it in front of you as you work through your creative strategy.
3. Treat the offer as your touchstone
Everything in your appeal has to relate to the offer in some way, or it shouldn’t be there. Simple as that.
George Crankovic is an experienced, award-winning fundraising copywriter and strategist, he helps nonprofits reach and engage their donors through multichannel direct response, combining strategy, messaging, offer and audience to maximize results for acquisition, cultivation and reactivation. With a proven track record in marketing communications and fundraising, George has worked with blue-chip nonprofits from The Salvation Army, to Project HOPE, to World Relief, to The Red Cross and more nationwide.
An in-demand writer, George has published articles in Fundraising Success magazine, Nonprofit Pro magazine and other national publications. He is a guest blogger at Jeff Brooks’ Future Fundraising Now site, and he blogs at www.marketing-fundraising.com.