- Fri, March 28 2008
- Filed under: Fundraising essentials
In honor of my fave colleague Mark Rovner’s call for posts on “how do you inspire people?” I post this wee excerpt from an upcoming column of mine coming out in a few days.
Dear Marketing Maven,
My email list isn’t what it used to be. People aren’t listening to me anymore, and each time I ask for their help, they are less responsive. Why doesn’t my list love me anymore?
—Despairing in Development
I suspect you’re getting the silent treatment for three reasons. First, you could be a stalker. Do you have permission to email your list? Are these people who’ve said they want to hear from you? If not, don’t expect them to greet your spammy self with open arms. Second, I suspect you’ve probably been taking some of your list for granted. Just because some people were once generous doesn’t mean you can keep asking for more and more. You need to be giving back – thanking that list and showing it a great time with fabulous stories about the great things it has accomplished. Make it feel loved. Third, are you really connecting with your list and its feelings, or are you just talking about yourself all the time? Nothing turns off a list like narcissism, and nothing turns it on like showing your emotional side and appealing to its perspective. My advice? Only reach out to your list when you have permission. Treat your list with great care and gratitude. Start a true conversation with your list and be responsive to its feelings. Chocolates and flowers may help too.