Saturday, November 17, 2012

The four ingredients of a great message

From:- Katya Andresen
COO and CSO at Network for Good

November 16, 2012
I like to boil down marketing and messaging to answering four simple questions. If you want to get someone to do something - donate money, buy your product, start exercising - you need to have a good response to these four questions. People want to know:

1. Why me?

Prove your personal revelance.

Why should people care about your message? They need to connect to you on an emotional level.

If your writing tends to be more like an academic argument than a true-life story aimed at touching the heart, it’s time to break out of your old habits and put the heart and soul of your work back into every word you write.

2. What For?

If people take the action you request, what will happen? If you're a nonprofit, where exactly is a donor's money going? What will they get in return for their donation - personally and in terms of your programs? If you're a company, what benefit will people get from your product? How will it make a life better? The more specific and tangible, the better.

There is plenty of research on why this approach is important, and it's laid out in Network for Good's eBook, Homer Simpson for Nonprofits: How People Really Think and What It Means to Your Cause.

Why Now?
Create a sense of urgency and immediacy in your message. Why should someone act now as opposed to tomorrow? What is at stake right now?

Who says?

The messenger is often as important as the message.

People tend to do what other people are doing.

Tap into that by using trustworthy messengers.

People say friends and family are the most influential, so also think about how you can get your supporters to speak for you among their own circles of influence.

Before you give that next presentation, send that new appeal or make that sales pitch, make sure it contains the answers to these four questions. You'll be far more persuasive when you do.

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