- Tue, November 21 2006
- Filed under: Fundraising essentials
There are four components to a great message - connecting with an audience based on their values (C), rewarding (R) your audience, asking for a specific action to get that reward, and making it memorable. Remember this with the mnemonic device, CRAM! This works for fundraising letters but also for any marketing message. We need a different message for each audience, complete with a unique connection, reward, action, and memory. Don’t be tempted to avoid the work of creating messages for individual audiences by generating one big message with a little CRAM for everyone.
Steps to CRAM:
1. Connect to things your audience cares about: saving time, feeling good about themselves, feeling powerful, etc.
2. Identify and offer a compelling reward for taking action. Remember, good rewards are immediate, personal, credible and reflective of audience values.
3. Have a clear call to action. Good actions are specific, feasible and filmable (in other words, easy to visualize doing). They should also measurably advance our mission.
4. Make it memorable. We don’t want simply to make an impression; we want to make a lasting impression. What makes something memorable? It’s memorable if it’s different, catchy, personal, tangible and desirable. But a word of caution: memorable elements should always be closely tied to our cause. Think of all the advertisements that were so funny or memorable that we told a friend about them, but when asked what product the ad was for, we were not sure. We don’t just need a memorable idea or picture; we need an idea or picture that makes our cause memorable.
Remember the “A” message in yesterday’s review of fundraising letters?
“Dear Friends, Let us help make your holiday shopping the best experience ever by choosing the gift that keeps on giving! Celebrate the holiday season by giving hope, mobility and freedom to someone who has none. You will change the life of a child, teen or adult with a physical disability, as well as the lives of every member of their family, with a $75 gift to the Wheelchair Foundation to sponsor a brand new wheelchair.”
Nice CRAMing because:
1. Connection to my desire to making holiday shopping and giving feel good
2. Rewards: Feeling good about myself right now by helping someone have a better life
3. Action: Give $75 and get a wheelchair for someone
4. Memorable? The letter came with a four-color flier with a smiling, happy photo of a girl in a wheelchair