Emotional Marketing: Did They Really Just Call It 'Sadvertising'?
Relative to "sadness" (or sadvertising, as this article calls it), I would argue that this is also something fundraising colleagues have known for a while. But, it is very important for nonprofit marketing and fundraising to not only be about sadness.
There are many forms of emotions that are needed to build a relationship with someone around your mission. Showing the harsh realities of how lives are affected by a particular issue is critical, and yes, sometimes these are very sad stories. What nonprofit marketers and fundraisers know is that hiding from the pain, challenges or sadness related to their missions is not something that should happen. For people to truly understand the mission and make a decision about being involved (financially, as a volunteer, as an advocate, etc.), nonprofits must not sugarcoat the problem. Is there a limit to how much sadness and "fear" to use in your communication? Yes, because the biggest error you can make is to come across as "creating fear" or "creating sadness" when it is not warranted. It's important to stay honest, but creating an emotional reaction to your communication is absolutely necessary.
Using emotion within your marketing plan can come through in multiple ways. Yes, fear and sadness are common factors due to the nature of nonprofits and the challenges they represent across the globe in social issues, health issues, the environment, poverty, animals, etc. But don't forget about the fact that donors want to be a part of something grand and important (emotions: donor self-gratification, idealism) and donors want to feel appreciated and needed (emotions: recognition, importance).
The key is to strike the right combination of chords with your donor's emotions and drive the behavior and commitment you need to be successful with your mission. But before I close this post, let me also address the "concern" I had when I read this article.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.