“Research on persuasion shows the more arguments you list in favor of something, regardless of the quality of those arguments, the more that people tend to believe it,” [Harvard marketing professor Michael] Norton says. “Mainstream ads sometimes use long lists of bullet points—people don’t read them, but it’s persuasive to know there are so many reasons to buy.” OK, but if more is better, then why only one trick? “People want a simple solution that has a ton of support.”
Marketers—even those not selling diet drugs and miracle cures—should be paying attention.
The new Gmail inbox design, which diverts marketing e-mails to a separate “Promotions” tab, could pose a threat to e-mail marketers, Jordan Cohen writes.
While it is still too early to tell what the impact on open and click-through rates will be, marketers are right to be concerned that emails placed in a separate tab will be out of sight, and may also be out of mind (or, in the very least, not top of mind). By last count (June 2012), there were 425 million Gmail users in the world, and it may be up to half a billion by now — so the effect can potentially be substantial.
For now, users’ ability to disable the tabs and the increased use of mobile devices to check e-mail could limit the damage, he adds. Kimbia suggests a few workarounds as well.
But perhaps the bigger threat is that other providers follow Google in hiding marketing messages from recipients.
The donors also prefer to give online, with 84 percent saying they want to give through a Web site. The second most-popular way to give, with only 48 percent of donors, was to make a donation in person at an event.
It’s yet another reason to make sure you have a solid website and an easy-to-use online donation process.
The fundraising emails – more than four hundred in all – appeared hour after hour, day after day because they worked. An elaborate ‘More Emails Test’ showed conclusively that the more fundraising emails that went out, the more money came back – simple as that. Even the $3 ask – just enough to cover the credit card processing – helped build lists and increase a sense of ownership on the part of supporters. The growth in the number of people unsubscribing because they couldn’t stand the alarmist emails was much slower than the growth of cash flowing in, and Chicago knew that peeved unsubscribers would end up voting for Obama even if they thought the emails sounded like sketchy pleas from Internet con artists. Goff concluded that ignoring the human desire not to be annoying may have been the single greatest conceptual breakthrough of the campaign. It turned out to be worth more than $100 million.
Marketers, repeat after me: You are not your target audience.
But bureaucracy and a need to “get it right the first time” can stifle this sort of innovation, he writes:
I suspect we’re not the only company dealing with this problem. In fact, I bet that obsessing about quality too early in the creative process prevents a lot of good ideas from taking shape. As businesses grow, all sorts of things that once were done on the fly–including creating new products–have a way of becoming bureaucratized. As a result, the wrong sets of pressures are brought to bear. Doubts, deadlines, resource planning…all of this stuff is essential. But only later on. Fretting about such matters at the outset only gets in the way.
This lesson doesn’t apply only to software. In marketing, our desire to launch the perfect product or the perfect campaign can keep good ideas from seeing the light of day. And since perfection in marketing is measured by results, we won’t know what works until we try it. Our instincts are probably wrong, so we have to remain open to new ideas and to running tests to find out if they’ll work.
How do you keep the marketing juices flowing in your organization?
The Huffington Post produced an enormous amount of junky but well-trafficked content, most of which never appeared on the site’s front page. Peretti called it the “mullet strategy”—business in front, party in the back—a metaphor that grated on some of his colleagues. …
It turns out Peretti’s vaunted algorithm revealed an obvious truth: People like upbeat, even childlike content. That’s why BuzzFeed practices its own version of the Huffington Post’s mullet strategy—though now the party is all up front.
What’s holding back your online fundraising? It may be your donation pages.
Elements of the design and copy on your page can combine to create “friction”—a psychological resistance to continuing the donation process.
A donation process with too many steps or unnecessary questions adds friction. So does a process that confuses your donors, like a page with two different and equally-weighted calls-to-action.
I spoke earlier this month on this topic to the Association of Fundraising Professionals annual conference in San Diego. The presentation I gave with Tim Kachuriak and Dan Gillett, below, explains what friction is and offers tips on how to avoid it.
We’ve all been taught that the bake sale with five percent overhead is morally superior to the professional fundraising enterprise with 40 percent overhead, but we’re missing the most important piece of information, which is, what is the actual size of these pies? Who cares if the bake sale only has five percent overhead if it’s tiny? What if the bake sale only netted 71 dollars for charity because it made no investment in its scale and the professional fundraising enterprise netted 71 million dollars because it did? Now which pie would we prefer, and which pie do we think people who are hungry would prefer?