You haven’t got long.
We’re on to the next email, text, phone call, app.
What you have to do:
Make the first online images count. People know what they think of a site faster than they blink. That impression carries over. It impacts content, action, and donation.
Make the first words count. Average reading speed is about 140 WPM. Average subject line is about 7 words? (makes math easy) Ergo, subject line = 3 seconds. That is, if you are reading and not skimming. You are skimming. So’s your audience. Be sure to use pre-headers as well. I’ll talk about those next week. Subscribe here to get an email when it’s up.
Evoke emotion. Emotion hits the brain 3000X faster than rational thought. Reason hasn’t got a chance to set the hook.
Load quickly on mobile. Only 11% of people expect content to be much slower on their phones. One additional second = 7% decrease in conversions. One. Bleedin’. Second.
Send those thank you’s quickly. Thank you speed is among the best predictors of retention. Long-term and short-term.
Don’t wait for your mail testing. Test to your mail audience online. Facebook and Google ads = messaging tests. Subject lines = teaser copy. It’s not entirely representative. But it will predict disasters well.
Make the ask. The act should be in the first three paragraphs of the letter. They need to know why you are writing.
Flood the zone. They pitched your letter? Even after you did outbound voice mail to let them know it’s coming? You’ll get them in the email.
Didn’t open the email? We resend those to people who don’t open.
Still didn’t? We have ads that follow them around the Web. Then we’ll call; can’t escape just by going offline.
Multichannel is the way to get in the impressions. Impressions are the way to get a message through. Message is the way to get the donation.
Spend time where it counts. Some donors actually want to read a 12-page letter. But only if it’s written well. Not Shakespeare well. Not James Joyce well. Da Vinci Code well. Tom Clancy well. The kind of letter that forces you to read to find out what’s next .
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