Let’s take a look at a monthly newsletter that contains three articles (one headline article and two sub-articles) and a call for support (the “passive, indirect hope you support us” blurb). Here are all the possible scenarios/actions that could occur:
1. Delete without opening it
3. Click on the headline article
4. Click on a sub article
5. Click on all articles
6. Click on donation request and do not donate
7. Click on the donation request and donate
8. Click on the headline article and then donation request and then do not donate
9. Click on the headline article then the donation request and then donate
10. Click on the sub article and then the donation request and do not donate
11. Click on the sub article and then the donation request and then donate
12. Perform any of the above and forward to a friend
13. Perform any of the above and visit your homepage
14. Perform any of the above and call you
15. Perform any of the above and email you
16. Perform any the above and unsubscribe
Who knew that a simple email newsletter with three articles and a blurb about supporting the organization could have so many scenarios? Just for fun, see how long it takes for you to click through every link in an email newsletter. That would be a fundraiser’s and marketer’s dream. But both you and I don’t have the time or the patience.
What can we learn from this simple exercise? Before we send communication or appeals, we need to reduce the number of scenarios in order to obtain the behavior we desire.
I have seen this happen when I talk with fundraisers. They will say, “we included it in the newsletter and no one clicked on it so I guess no one is interested.” I hate to break to them, but it doesn’t surprise me. There were about 30 other links in the newsletter and it had so much content it was going to get lost.
When it comes to donations or other specific calls to action, make it clear, concise and direct. If it is muddied and buried in other pieces because you are shy to send or want to see if anyone picks up on it, it probably will not give you the response you desire.
Outline the specific scenarios that are possible with an email campaign. How are you going to react when they click or don’t click, when an individual doesn’t complete the donation transaction? How will you continue to communicate to see a better return? Make sure that you have played out the scenarios and are prepared to counteract the behavior they fail to exhibit.
By Derrick Feldmann, CEO of Achieve