Tue, March 17 2009

How to get your supporters to listen in 4 steps

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

1. Listen to them: This is the key.  If you really want someone’s attention, PAY ATTENTION TO THAT SOMEONE.  You have to listen to be heard, see to be seen.  Are you doing this?  If not, that may be why your audience isn’t opening your emails, taking your calls or answering your appeals.  You need to be in conversation, not monologue, with people in order to make them receptive.  Here’s a good example of letting your audience have some say.  Here’s another with great user generated stories.

2. Connect to what you’ve heard: Once you’ve listened to your audience, you’ll know what to say.  Because you’ll understand what interests and passions make your audience tick - and which are the interests and passions you need to tap in your own outreach.  Your message, if you’re framing it right, becomes highly inclusive of your audience, as you see here.

3. Show, don’t tell: Connect through stories and great messengers (see #4).  This works far better than talking about yourself in a sterile way.  Great stories get people’s attention like nothing else.  Think of the many speeches you’ve nearly slept through until you perk up with cues like, “let me tell a story,” or “here’s or an example” or “that reminds me of the time…”

4. Change the messenger: I’m always saying this, but it really does bear repeating.  Don’t be the only one asking for help.  Provide great information and stories for your supporters to spread within their circles of influence.  Tap someone helped by your organization to write your newsletter.  Authentic outside messengers can do more for your message than you can ever do yourself.

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Thu, March 12 2009

A great viral video from conservationists

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Social Media •

You have to love this. (There’s sound, so keep in mind if you’re at work.  Some of my poor readers got in trouble at work watching my Colbert clips.  Fair warning this time.)

1. funny
2. hard not to forward
3. easy to spread on facebook (I posted it on my facebook page after seeing it from Shaun, with just a click)
4. delivers a great message in a positive way

How refreshing… and from the Federal Government no less!

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Tue, March 10 2009

How much is just enough planning?

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

Hear what constitutes just enough planning for your marketing campaign.  Thanks to my organization Network for Good, we’ve got a great free teleconference tomorrow (which you can later access online).  The great Kristen Grimm of Spitfire (who happens to be spitfire herself) will be speaking on Great Campaigns in Nine Simple Steps: How to Succeed with “Just Enough” Planning. 

Tuesday, March 10 at 1 p.m. ET

Register here!

Key takeaways:

Campaign planning in 9 easy steps
Ideas for campaign goal-setting, staffing, timelines and messaging
How to measure success along the way
Q&A session to answer your campaign questions

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Fri, March 06 2009

Why you should care about the jewelry store across the street

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

Parking around my office is a challenge - few spots, metered, and all pricey, so it’s hard to find enough change to pay for it.  Most of the businesses around the neighborhood have reacted this way: they post little signs in their windows saying “we don’t make change for the parking meters.” 

Then there’s a jewelry shop across the street from my office.  They have a sign that is the rare exception: “We will gladly make change for the parking meters!” it says.

I bet they get a lot more in-store traffic than they would otherwise.  And maybe most people don’t buy jewelry when they come in for change, but I bet people browse or make conversation because they feel they feel it’s nice to do when they’re getting change.  And in making conversation, people forge a personal connection with the owners.  That means perhaps when they are in the market for something, they’ll go back to the store. 

I wish more organizations thought like that.  Is your nonprofit on a street where you could hand out parking meter change?  I bet people would donate part of their change.  Are there other favors or nice things you could do for the people who might become your supporters someday?

There’s also a larger lesson here, about how you choose portray yourself.

Nonprofit marketing folks and fundraisers:  Don’t define yourself by who you are not - or what you refuse to do for others.  Define yourself by who you are - and what makes you special.

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Wed, March 04 2009

I just gave $336 to a stranger who knocked on my door…

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

I really did.

It was this guy, a canvasser for Save the Children:

DSC00499

I answered the door because it was 15 degrees outside, and I figured a canvasser holding a clipboard must be awfully dedicated to something interesting to be out on a night like this.

He was raising money for Save the Children.  Little did he know who he was getting behind my door—a professional fundraiser who might actually end up blogging his visit.  But he was friendly and open and not too freaked out when I told him I knew all about Save already, but what I really wanted to know was why they were doing fundraising via canvassing.  He said because it worked wonderfully.  Most of Save’s child sponsors sign up via canvassers, apparently.  Save is focused on this approach, scaling back TV ads and other broad-brush, less effective means of getting recurring, monthly gifts—a great gift that pays off for their programs many times, over time.  It didn’t hurt that he added my neighbors had donated, too.

Made sense to me.  I just gave him my credit card number and a year’s commitment of $28 monthly gifts to sponsor a child in Africa.  Oh, and a copy of my book and a pitch about Network for Good too, of course.  And I made him pose for a picture.

The lesson?  Nothing beats the personal touch. I say this all the time, and I’m a skeptical marketer, but even I can’t resist it.  A nice guy going door to door to personally and earnestly ask me to help a girl in Africa on a very cold night was just too personally compelling to refuse.  Really.  I’ve politely hung up on half a dozen fundraising telemarketers in the past week and thrown away ten pieces of direct mail, but this was too hard to turn down.  And more rewarding as a yes.  Well done, Save the Children. 

I’m not saying you need to hire a group of canvassers like Save to do face-to-face appeals, but do try to make your asks more personal.  Get your volunteers to spread the word to their neighborhood.  Or to hand-write your donor thank-yous.  Helping children?  Include their drawings in your communications.  Encourage your supporters to tell their friends and family members why they love you.  Or at the very least, segment that mass email campaign according to some audience groups smaller than “everyone on my mailing list.”

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