Increase Nonprofit Results With Behavioral Science and Emotions
Are you ready to skillfully apply the principles of human behavior to your nonprofit direct mail marketing messages to gain a competitive advantage? Since people default to hardwired behaviors without giving them a thought, you can use that to drive them to the response you want. You can use those behaviors to trigger them to donate for better direct mail results.
First of all, behavioral scientists have found that people use both the rational and emotional parts of their brain to make decisions. Donating decisions are made first by emotion and then later justified with rational reasons.
How to Use Behavioral Science in Direct Mail Appeals
So, your takeaway is to create your nonprofit messaging to first grab their emotion and second give them rational reasons to justify the donation. The reason for this is that our brains process emotion faster. As you are writing your copy, keep in mind that emotion drives action and reason leads to conclusions. Basically, emotion drives donations.
Knowing this, how can we create the emotion in our direct mail to get them to donate?
Showcase how your constituents feel by receiving your service. Use a story to paint a picture of what it is like for those your serve to experience using your service.
Tell a story about how their donation helps others. Show the problem they have helped to solve for others. Choose your wording carefully. You want words that help them envision the wonderful outcome of making a donation. You want to acknowledge their fears, struggles, dreams or desires where donating becomes the solution.
Choose pictures and colors that elicit the emotion you are trying to generate. Use images that show a person eliciting the emotion you want to generate. Our brains respond as if we are experiencing that emotion, which is exactly what we want to do in our nonprofit direct mail to drive donations.
Make donors feel special by sharing who their previous donation helped and who they can help this time. Once you hook them with emotion, use rationale to give them the reasons why they should buy. This will give them a rational explanation for their emotional donation.
Emphasize that by donating they are joining a large group of happy helpful people. Creativity should be flowing now. Have fun with your nonprofit direct mail.
Point out a painful situation that can be avoided by using their donation. Providing reasons to donate is critical if you want your direct mail to drive donations. Gain a competitive advantage with the double whammy of emotional trigger followed by rational reasons to donate.
These are just some of the ways you can create emotion in your nonprofit direct mail. You are using emotion to make a connection with your audience. By doing that, you make them more open to donating to you.
Not sure if this format will work for you? Test it. Do your normal direct mail piece to half your list and try this formula for your other half. See which one gives you the best result. Don’t be afraid to try new things, you may find that they work better than you could have imagined. Are you ready to get started?
Increase Nonprofit Results With Behavioral Science
Part 1: Emotions
The preceding blog was provided by an individual unaffiliated with NonProfit PRO. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of NonProfit PRO.
Summer Gould is Account Executive at Neyenesch Printers. Summer has spent her 31 year career helping clients achieve better marketing results. She has served as a panel speaker for the Association of Marketing Service Providers conferences. She is active in several industry organizations and she is a board member for Printing Industries Association San Diego, as well as the industry chair for San Diego Postal Customer Council. You can find her at Neyenesch’s website: neyenesch.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @sumgould.