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1
Your job, if UHCF really wants
to fundraise itself out of a
slow death, is to get a well-
educated and –informed male,
6...
2
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome
aboard this flight to somewhere between here and where you...
3
“A donor’s heart isn’t
stuffed with cash, it’s filled
with passion. And that’s
what you have to tap into,
dear fundraise...
“What do you think Universal Health
Care does?”
“Something like Doctors Without
Borders?”
4© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOM...
Describe UHCF’s
purpose in 2 words.
(It’s not supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to be nearly impossible without a lot
of ...
“Clean water”
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 6
“Patient satisfaction”
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 7
A fundraising “case for
support” answers just 3
predictable questions ...
Not necessarily in this order, though.
8© 2016 T...
9
Why now?
What’s the big hurry?
What changed? Why is
this URGENT?1
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
10
Why now?
What’s the big hurry?
What changed? Why is
this URGENT?1
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
11
Why us?
What are we doing that’s so
uniquely wonderful that the
world should want more of it
and support our new plans?...
“We’re a little, mission-driven
place that wants to be recognized
for providing the best care for the
poorest people.”
– S...
13
Why us?
What are we doing that’s so
uniquely wonderful that the
world should want more of it
and support our new plans?...
Not sure why you matter?
Pretend your organization, project,
program, idea, mission or vision has
gone away.
14© 2016 Tom ...
15
Why you,
the donor, might care?
3
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
Connect with
what’s already in
their heads!
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 16
“Your donors have identities (e.g. bird
enthusiast, cancer survivor, caregiver of
someone with mental health issues,
membe...
“Donors are staggeringly
ignorant of the causes they
support.”
--
Richard Radcliffe
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 18
DONORS MAY BE IGNORANT, but what they
DO have in abundance are their own
personal values, interests, beliefs,
connections,...
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 20
“All fundraising copy should
sound like someone talking.”
-- George Smith
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 21
Thought for today....
Write drunk. Edit sober.
(ancient advice followed by reporte...
Don’t be afraid to
show the ugly.
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 22
23
Source: NYU neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux, in Emotionomics
“Negative emotions are
linked to survival – and
are much stro...
If there are no problems
to solve, donors have
nothing to do.
24© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
Dear Jill,
What can I tell you?
Roe v. Wade celebrates its 43rd birthday this
January.
Some of you remember. On that landm...
26
DONORLAND
It’s a rough neighborhood.
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
27
Beginning
of mail
End of mail
Elapsed time:
1-3 seconds
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
The first gift you ask
for is my attention.
28
The average attention
span of an adult human in
2013 was 8 seconds.
We’re
#...
29
“What is our gift
of joy?”
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
30
The gift of joy
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
31
The gift of joy
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
32
Editor: Michelle Brinson
The gift of joy
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 33
The gift of joy
The gift of joy
The gift of joy
Welcome to
a family
34© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
“Synthetic family”
35
Source: Russell James III, 2014
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
“Synthetic family”
36© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
The donor is IN
the story frame
37© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
NOT just a spectator.
Donor, who art
thou?
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 38
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 39
Arts = “Arts lover”
Children = Adults (hardwired)
Environment = “Nature lover”
Fai...
11 Questions Every Donor Asks
by Harvey McKinnon
“Why me?”
“Why are you asking me?”
“Do I respect you?”
“How much do you w...
I KNOW
direct mail isn’t dead;
it’s a major source of
major gifts
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 41
One-in-six of first gifts from $2,500+
donors was through traditional direct mail
acquisition, as was one-in-four of first...
I KNOW
that “legacy gifts” are
worth more than
major gifts
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 43
44
Source: Pareto 2015
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
I KNOW
how to raise money
through Facebook
It’s complicated, it costs money, and it
isn’t for every cause
© 2016 Tom Ahern...
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 46
Making money from Facebook...
I KNOW
that donors aren’t
forever
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 47
“We truncate lifetime value at 7 years
because that captures almost all of the
giving. Most donors give only once. It’s
ra...
I KNOW
that targeting younger
donors is a lousy
fundraising strategy
(but an OK Facebook and advocacy strategy)
© 2016 Tom...
50
Yes, I donated to direct mail,
until I was 87 maybe?
Jane Joyaux | Widowed @ 65 | Died @ 90
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHER...
4%
11%
17%
22%
46%
<35
35-44
45-54
55-64
65+
Donors by age (percentage)
51 © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
52
Source: Pareto 2015
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
For eyes over 60...
AIGA recommends 14 pt. for body copy.
53© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
Basic message:
“Without your help
there is no hope.”
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 54
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 55
IN
THE
BIG
TYPE
vision
enemy
hero
served
Source: Stephen Pidgeon and Tangible
56
“Me?”
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
“It is the fundraiser’s job,
your only job, to make
the supporter feel good
about supporting your
charity. You have to
lov...
From you....
They want to feel good.
They want to feel loved.
They want to feel smart.
They want to feel needed.
They want...
The virtuous circle...
You ask (and flatter).
You thank (and flatter).
You report (and flatter).
You cannot flatter too mu...
60
Source: Neuromarketing blog
“Even when people perceive
that flattery is insincere, that
flattery can still leave a
last...
Direct mail does not operate in
isolation. It is part of a system
that brings in new donors and
then tries to cling to the...
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 62
THIS IS JUST AS
IMPORTANT!
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 63
THESE ARE JUST AS
IMPORTANT!
64© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
THE BEST THANKERS WIN!
How to write
(Hint: Make 1st ¶ short.)
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 65
President Obama’s Top 15 Moneymaking Subject Lines
($690 million raised)
1. I am just so happy
2. I want to do this again
...
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 67
It’s come to this.
No one’s safe.
He won’t be taking a backseat.
This borders on s...
“Help” rather than “give”
Booth School of Business, UChicago, via Claxon, 2016
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 68
69
Don’t just ask me to
DO something.
Ask me to
FEEL
something.
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 70
Anger
Exclusivity
Fear
Flattery
Greed
Guilt
Hope
Salvation
Common emotional trigge...
Source: Jeff Brooks reporting on AMA Journal of Marketing Research, 2011
71© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 72
Direct mail secret to success.......
You’re trying for “mental nods.”
(I.e., they ...
A. Lee Edgar, M.D.
73© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
If you believe in
Hospice as much as I
do, open immediately....
...
74© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
Sue the bastards.
Writer: Roger Craver
TAP AN EMOTION
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 75
Always tell ‘em what to do next...
Rule #1:
Don’t bore me
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 76
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 77
What it sometimes takes to triple
response, from 5% to 16%
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 78
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 79
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 80
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 81
82© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 83
“The quirk that works.”
Writer: Patti Saunders
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 84
SURPRISE/DELIGHT ME
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 85
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 86
Client: Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital, designer: Andrea Hopkins
87
Client: PPSNE, designer: Andrea Hopkins
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
Neuroscience says…
“Coming across new information
triggers a chemical reaction that makes
us feel good, which in turns cau...
Rule #3:
Never stop asking
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 89
Indirect ask
Direct ask
Direct ask
Indirect ask
Indirect ask
Indirect ask
Indirect ask
Indirect ask
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www...
Indirect ask
Direct ask
Indirect ask
Indirect ask
Direct ask
Indirect ask
Indirect ask
Direct ask
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.A...
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 92
FREE FOR YOU
sofii.org
A world-sourced archive of donor
communications that worked.
© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 93
Source: Jeff Brooks, 2014
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Tom Ahern: Everything I Know as of 6/15/16

Advocacy org. trying to change health care in a major US state. They're just beginning a 3-5 year fundraising effort targeting individuals. They don't what to say. We'll spend 3 hours figuring that out. This is their homework.

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Tom Ahern: Everything I Know as of 6/15/16

  1. 1. 1 Your job, if UHCF really wants to fundraise itself out of a slow death, is to get a well- educated and –informed male, 68 years old, living in another state, to give you a gift. Good luck. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  2. 2. 2 “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome aboard this flight to somewhere between here and where you actually want to get to. Flight time tonight could be anything from one to six hours, depending on how well we do. “We’ll be flying at an altitude that we hope will be slightly higher than last year but not as high as we flew four years ago when flying was easier. We cannot at this stage commit to a specific altitude. Obviously we hope we will go reasonably high. “We are hoping for a smooth flight but if there’s any turbulence we’ll conclude air flight is unrealistic in this current climate and land immediately. “Now, sit back and enjoy the flight!” >> Don’t. Toby Bourke, former fundraising head, Greenpeace © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  3. 3. 3 “A donor’s heart isn’t stuffed with cash, it’s filled with passion. And that’s what you have to tap into, dear fundraisers.” Shanon Doolittle © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  4. 4. “What do you think Universal Health Care does?” “Something like Doctors Without Borders?” 4© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  5. 5. Describe UHCF’s purpose in 2 words. (It’s not supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to be nearly impossible without a lot of thought.) 5© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  6. 6. “Clean water” © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 6
  7. 7. “Patient satisfaction” © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 7
  8. 8. A fundraising “case for support” answers just 3 predictable questions ... Not necessarily in this order, though. 8© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  9. 9. 9 Why now? What’s the big hurry? What changed? Why is this URGENT?1 © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  10. 10. 10 Why now? What’s the big hurry? What changed? Why is this URGENT?1 © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  11. 11. 11 Why us? What are we doing that’s so uniquely wonderful that the world should want more of it and support our new plans? 2 © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  12. 12. “We’re a little, mission-driven place that wants to be recognized for providing the best care for the poorest people.” – Susan Kelly, president Charles Drew U. of Medicine and Science, 2008 12 So, what do you folks do? © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  13. 13. 13 Why us? What are we doing that’s so uniquely wonderful that the world should want more of it and support our new plans? 2 © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  14. 14. Not sure why you matter? Pretend your organization, project, program, idea, mission or vision has gone away. 14© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  15. 15. 15 Why you, the donor, might care? 3 © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  16. 16. Connect with what’s already in their heads! © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 16
  17. 17. “Your donors have identities (e.g. bird enthusiast, cancer survivor, caregiver of someone with mental health issues, member of local community, religious person who is giving in concert with their faith) that explain why they chose to give to you. You are simply choosing to ignore it.” But they won’t. DonorVoice, May 2016 © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 17
  18. 18. “Donors are staggeringly ignorant of the causes they support.” -- Richard Radcliffe © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 18
  19. 19. DONORS MAY BE IGNORANT, but what they DO have in abundance are their own personal values, interests, beliefs, connections, experiences, upbringing, lost loves, secret passions, regrets, fears, angers, hopes, and built-in empathy [except for psychopaths]... © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 19
  20. 20. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 20 “All fundraising copy should sound like someone talking.” -- George Smith
  21. 21. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 21 Thought for today.... Write drunk. Edit sober. (ancient advice followed by reporters)
  22. 22. Don’t be afraid to show the ugly. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 22
  23. 23. 23 Source: NYU neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux, in Emotionomics “Negative emotions are linked to survival – and are much stronger.” © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com The amygdala
  24. 24. If there are no problems to solve, donors have nothing to do. 24© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  25. 25. Dear Jill, What can I tell you? Roe v. Wade celebrates its 43rd birthday this January. Some of you remember. On that landmark day— January 22, 1973—a lawyer from Texas, an amazing female in her mid-20s, finally convinced the US Supreme Court to grant American women control over their own pregnancies. It's been downhill pretty much ever since, I can tell you. Mind if I share with you what scares me? I fully expect 2016 to be the worst year yet for Planned Parenthood here in Minnesota (not to mention the other two states we desperately try to serve: North and South Dakota). © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 25 “Did phenomenally well in 2015!”
  26. 26. 26 DONORLAND It’s a rough neighborhood. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  27. 27. 27 Beginning of mail End of mail Elapsed time: 1-3 seconds © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  28. 28. The first gift you ask for is my attention. 28 The average attention span of an adult human in 2013 was 8 seconds. We’re #1! © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  29. 29. 29 “What is our gift of joy?” © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  30. 30. 30 The gift of joy © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  31. 31. 31 The gift of joy © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  32. 32. 32 Editor: Michelle Brinson The gift of joy © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  33. 33. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 33 The gift of joy The gift of joy The gift of joy
  34. 34. Welcome to a family 34© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  35. 35. “Synthetic family” 35 Source: Russell James III, 2014 © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  36. 36. “Synthetic family” 36© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  37. 37. The donor is IN the story frame 37© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com NOT just a spectator.
  38. 38. Donor, who art thou? © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 38
  39. 39. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 39 Arts = “Arts lover” Children = Adults (hardwired) Environment = “Nature lover” Faith-based = Those in the fellowship Hospice = Families of deceased Justice = Tests well w/ Americans Library = Patrons, “library lover” Hospital = “Grateful” patients University = Graduates Natural constituencies
  40. 40. 11 Questions Every Donor Asks by Harvey McKinnon “Why me?” “Why are you asking me?” “Do I respect you?” “How much do you want?” “Why your organization?” “Will my gift make a difference?” “Is there an urgent reason to give? “Is it easy to give?” “How will I be treated?” “Will I have a say over how you use my gift?” “How will you measure results?” © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 40
  41. 41. I KNOW direct mail isn’t dead; it’s a major source of major gifts © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 41
  42. 42. One-in-six of first gifts from $2,500+ donors was through traditional direct mail acquisition, as was one-in-four of first gifts from $1,000-$2,500 donors. “Think of it another way, take away direct mail acquisition and a significant chunk of your future large donors will also go away.” 42© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com Source: American Cancer Society, Analytical Ones via The Agitator, 2014
  43. 43. I KNOW that “legacy gifts” are worth more than major gifts © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 43
  44. 44. 44 Source: Pareto 2015 © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  45. 45. I KNOW how to raise money through Facebook It’s complicated, it costs money, and it isn’t for every cause © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 45
  46. 46. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 46 Making money from Facebook...
  47. 47. I KNOW that donors aren’t forever © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 47
  48. 48. “We truncate lifetime value at 7 years because that captures almost all of the giving. Most donors give only once. It’s rare even for a long-term donor to stay longer than 7 years.” Jeff Brooks, creative director, TrueSense © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 48
  49. 49. I KNOW that targeting younger donors is a lousy fundraising strategy (but an OK Facebook and advocacy strategy) © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 49
  50. 50. 50 Yes, I donated to direct mail, until I was 87 maybe? Jane Joyaux | Widowed @ 65 | Died @ 90 © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  51. 51. 4% 11% 17% 22% 46% <35 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ Donors by age (percentage) 51 © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  52. 52. 52 Source: Pareto 2015 © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  53. 53. For eyes over 60... AIGA recommends 14 pt. for body copy. 53© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  54. 54. Basic message: “Without your help there is no hope.” © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 54
  55. 55. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 55 IN THE BIG TYPE
  56. 56. vision enemy hero served Source: Stephen Pidgeon and Tangible 56 “Me?” © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  57. 57. “It is the fundraiser’s job, your only job, to make the supporter feel good about supporting your charity. You have to love your donors. The money will follow.” Stephen Pidgeon © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 57 BY THE WAY...
  58. 58. From you.... They want to feel good. They want to feel loved. They want to feel smart. They want to feel needed. They want to feel important. They want to belong. They want to see their values in action. They want to win! 58© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  59. 59. The virtuous circle... You ask (and flatter). You thank (and flatter). You report (and flatter). You cannot flatter too much. 59© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  60. 60. 60 Source: Neuromarketing blog “Even when people perceive that flattery is insincere, that flattery can still leave a lasting and positive impression of the flatterer.” © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  61. 61. Direct mail does not operate in isolation. It is part of a system that brings in new donors and then tries to cling to them. The most costly failures will be in your thanks and reporting. The most lucrative successes, too. 61© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  62. 62. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 62 THIS IS JUST AS IMPORTANT!
  63. 63. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 63 THESE ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT!
  64. 64. 64© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com THE BEST THANKERS WIN!
  65. 65. How to write (Hint: Make 1st ¶ short.) © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 65
  66. 66. President Obama’s Top 15 Moneymaking Subject Lines ($690 million raised) 1. I am just so happy 2. I want to do this again 3. My uncle Teddy 4. This isn’t already illegal? 5. My place, June 14th 6. Karl Rove sent you a message 7. Hey 8. Me again 9. Saturday night 10. Up late 11. I love you back 12. Hell yeah, I like Obamacare 13. I tried. 14. Wow 15. Clutch © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 66
  67. 67. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 67 It’s come to this. No one’s safe. He won’t be taking a backseat. This borders on scandalous. Don’t lose faith. Mad enough to kick a cat? It tipped the balance. Leads from Ozy.
  68. 68. “Help” rather than “give” Booth School of Business, UChicago, via Claxon, 2016 © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 68
  69. 69. 69 Don’t just ask me to DO something. Ask me to FEEL something. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  70. 70. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 70 Anger Exclusivity Fear Flattery Greed Guilt Hope Salvation Common emotional triggers
  71. 71. Source: Jeff Brooks reporting on AMA Journal of Marketing Research, 2011 71© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  72. 72. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 72 Direct mail secret to success....... You’re trying for “mental nods.” (I.e., they agree with what you’re saying.)
  73. 73. A. Lee Edgar, M.D. 73© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com If you believe in Hospice as much as I do, open immediately.... Authority figure Mental nod What should I do next?
  74. 74. 74© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com Sue the bastards. Writer: Roger Craver TAP AN EMOTION
  75. 75. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 75 Always tell ‘em what to do next...
  76. 76. Rule #1: Don’t bore me © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 76
  77. 77. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 77 What it sometimes takes to triple response, from 5% to 16%
  78. 78. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 78
  79. 79. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 79
  80. 80. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 80
  81. 81. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 81
  82. 82. 82© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  83. 83. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 83 “The quirk that works.”
  84. 84. Writer: Patti Saunders © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 84 SURPRISE/DELIGHT ME
  85. 85. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 85
  86. 86. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 86 Client: Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital, designer: Andrea Hopkins
  87. 87. 87 Client: PPSNE, designer: Andrea Hopkins © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  88. 88. Neuroscience says… “Coming across new information triggers a chemical reaction that makes us feel good, which in turns causes us to seek out even more of it.” Source: Wall Street Journal article by Lee Gomes, on USC neuroscientist, Dr. Irving Biederman; published March 12, 2008 88© 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com
  89. 89. Rule #3: Never stop asking © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 89
  90. 90. Indirect ask Direct ask Direct ask Indirect ask Indirect ask Indirect ask Indirect ask Indirect ask © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 90 Your letter is one long call to action.
  91. 91. Indirect ask Direct ask Indirect ask Indirect ask Direct ask Indirect ask Indirect ask Direct ask © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 91 16 asks ... NOT a record PS: brought in 10K+ new donors
  92. 92. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 92 FREE FOR YOU sofii.org A world-sourced archive of donor communications that worked.
  93. 93. © 2016 Tom Ahern | www.AHERNCOMM.com 93 Source: Jeff Brooks, 2014

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  • PattiSaunders1

    May. 28, 2016

Advocacy org. trying to change health care in a major US state. They're just beginning a 3-5 year fundraising effort targeting individuals. They don't what to say. We'll spend 3 hours figuring that out. This is their homework.

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