So if you’re responsible for getting people to volunteer for, donate to, purchase from, or otherwise support something worthwhile, you need to know how to cut through this apathy. These 5 tips will help your message get the attention it deserves:
1. Don’t Ask Too Often
You know that friend who asks you to help him with something every weekend? Asking for support for the same thing too often or for too many different things has the same effect. People get tired of your asking and more likely to come up with excuses as to why they can’t help than if you only asked every so often. Being mindful about how often you ask people to help is absolutely key when it comes to getting the support that you need. Show people that you respect their time, and they’ll be more likely to take your requests seriously when you have them.
2. Make it Compelling, Not Demanding
The best way to appeal to people is to make your cause so compelling that you don’t even need to ask for support because they’ll just volunteer it willingly. Tell your story and explain why you want to get involved and it will inherently draw people to your cause. Don’t demand support or require anything from people to get involved. Let people come as they are and take whatever they’re willing to give.
3. Don’t Use Guilt
You’ve seen those guilt-driven marketing messages before – things like “In the time it took you to read this, 3 children died from starvation.” This strategy isn’t sustainable because it may get people to take action right away, but if they feel like they’re being forced, they’re not likely to stick around as long as if they actually wanted to get involved because they were passionate about what you had to say.
4. Reward Individual Support
With the prevalence of social media these days, it seems that everyone behind a cause is now demanding not only your individual support, but also that you share it with all of your contacts to try to recruit others. This evangelism-type approach makes sense to a degree because if you care about something, you’re probably more naturally inclined to tell other people about it. However, not everyone (myself included) wants to try to recruit their friends and family to care about what they care about. Some people want to just contribute themselves and leave the recruitment to the professionals because it’s just not their forte. You need to let your supporters know that this is okay – that their individual help is great just the same.
5. Be Genuinely Thankful
This one should be pretty obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just seen this botched. When people support your cause, you need to thank them. This thank you should be genuine and from the heart to make them feel appreciated and encourage them to give you’re their support again in the future. A real thank you isn’t a mass email with a snazzy thank you graphic or a list of supporters’ names. A real thank you is a personal message, an in-person handshake or hug, a call, an update on how your help made a difference, or something else that says that your support genuinely matters.
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and son and enjoys cooking, watching sports, and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!