Matching Your Call to Action with Your Audience
This week Elizabeth Chung from StayClassy wrote an article that detailed how nonprofits have access to a much larger network than they often anticipate.
The piece is focused on the importance of utilizing extended networks for event and fundraising promotion. A specific example that is used is when a UC San Diego alumnus sent communication to the leadership of his alumni network throughout the United States. The communication included,
“AS A LEADER AND FELLOW TRITON, I AM ASKING FOR YOUR HELP TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THIS CAMPAIGN.”
While the StayClassy piece is specifically sharing best practices to help spread messages, it also leads to an additional important point. In the example above, the call to action was specific to the audience it was being sent to. Instead of asking alumni network leaders to donate – the ask was specific to spread the word about the campaign. By asking the alumni leaders to share the information to an even wider audience, the volunteers was able to maximize potential fundraising.
In our rush to publish content or achieve our organization’s most immediate goals (often income-related) communicators can fail to ensure the call-to-action is segmented to the correct audience. Just as your content may vary based on audience group, your specific call to action may need to be adjusted.
I was recently mailed an invitation to a nonprofit kickoff event happening on the East Coast. While I had previously donated to this organization, as a Bay Area resident, it was unrealistic for me to attend their kickoff.
The communication had a single call-to-action – attend our kickoff event. Extending an invitation like this to donors is an option to help increase event attendance. While I applaud the effort, the call-to-action didn’t match the recipient. Asking me to share information about the event to friends/family/colleagues who live in that area would be a stronger ask, as the organization clearly knows that I live in California because they mailed the invitation to my house.
When developing segmented communication, it is important to ask – what is the outcome that is most appropriate for this audience? At times it may differ from the outcome that is most needed for your organization.
If you’re looking for a specific call to action, we have one for you. Read our Tumblr. We share news items or blog posts that we think are helpful, informative, or thought provoking. Here are a few links from the week that we also enjoyed:
- Let’s start with the Ice Bucket Round-Up! The Wall Street Journal details how nonprofits are already asking “How can we create our own Ice Bucket Challenge?”. Alison Fine weighs in why it’s taken off. StayClassy addresses some of the challenges of the campaign and shares some personal stories. Finally, this week’s #fundchat was all about the #IceBucketChallenge.
- Vero provides advice on how to maintain email communication with audience members who chase “Inbox Zero”.
- Twitter experimented with adding favorites in people’s timeline. As Christina Warren from Mashable writes – feedback wasn’t positive.
- The polarizing Dan Pallotta is organizing a three-day march to raise $1m for the Charity Defense Council, an organization Pallotta is starting to, “counter negative media stories about charities, run advertisements promoting the nonprofit sector, and act as a legal defense force.” The Chronicle of Philanthropy has the details.
- Laura Vanderkam from Fast Company shares five strategies for creating a file for the ideas that you or your team think of but can’t implement yet.
- What do you do during conference calls? Gretchen Gavett of HBR discusses the findings of a survey that InterCall created. Fun fact to remember during your next conference call – 47% of people use the restroom during calls.