Eight ways to make your message great

publication date: Jul 21, 2011
Blogger Katya Andresen offers tips to make all your messages better - whether those messages are live, in print or online. Follow them all, and you just may convince your donors that your messages are as important as you like to think!

Does the receiver feel seen and heard?

You already know that one size doesn't fit all. That's just as true for messages. Make sure your readers or listeners know you're addressing them, or at least people just like them.

Who is the message about?

Putting out a message that's all about you rather than all about the difference the supporter makes for you will guarantee that your message gets lost. Keep your audience in your mind's eye.

Does it connect emotionally from the first word?

Your supporters are bombarded with thousands of messages every day. Hook them at the outset or you'll lose them. Use the Search function on the left to get help on connecting emotionally from Fraser Green and Leah Eustace.

Does it contain something your audience values?

If not, why are you bothering to create and distribute it?

Does it ask for a clear, simple action?

Make it easy to give, sign the petition, accept the invitation. And one thing at a time, please - in the few seconds the average reader gives you, you don't want to confuse them with choices.

Does it contain one amazing story?

Again, check our site's articles by Fraser Green and Leah Eustace for advice on crafting really amazing stories.

Does it invite conversation?

If so, you'll achieve more than one goal. You may get what you ask for - the donation or signature or a pass-along to someone else. And you'll get engagement as well.

Does it thank the person for paying attention?

Remember, your readers or listeners have already given you a gift of their time - a resource that for many people is just as scarce as money. It's simple courtesy to thank them. And it gives them a foretaste of how you'll treat them if they give.

If your answer to any of these is no, Andresen maintains you have to do better. "These are nonprofit marketing essentials," she concludes.

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