One of the biggest obstacles to innovation is success. When we find something that works, we tend to stick to it and stop looking for new ideas. If you are trying to raise money online, this is a big mistake.
Just because something you are doing works today, does not mean it will work tomorrow. If you get comfortable and stop looking for new innovative solutions you may begin to experience diminishing returns.
Online communication needs to be continually fresh, particularly in the copy. Visuals matter, but even the best images will not save stale copy.
Here are three tips for keeping your online fundraising fresh:
- Don’t keep writing the same way. The same phrases, figures of speech, and patterns of presentation become too familiar over time. Communication can feel repetitive, or worse, recycled. Think differently, write differently, and test new things. This can be hard for a writer who is concerned about maintaining the brand and its voice. However, there are often multiple ways to express the brand while still maintaining its voice.
- A little less polish can sometimes be a good thing. Some of the most effective communications that I’ve seen were written hastily about current events that just happened. They were proofed of course, but urgency can force you to refine less and allow more emotion to come through. If something reads like it was written by a committee then it is less likely to be compelling. Urgent events can result in stronger messages — which leads to more compelling copy.
- Engage don’t inform. We tend to think about communications as senders and not receivers. We know everything we want to get across in the email, so we begin to piece the information together in an orderly manner. Research shows we have less than 8 seconds to capture a reader’s attention. But unless we capture the reader’s attention, nothing is communicated. Ask yourself — what will engage the reader, what do they care about? If you are giving anything else, then you risk having your email deleted.
These principles are somewhat universal, but when it comes to online communications they are even more important because of how easy it is for someone to hit close, delete, or unsubscribe.
Remember your first and possibly biggest challenge is just to get people to read your message. If you can make people want to read your copy — then getting them to take action becomes much easier.
Let us know if Infinity Concepts can help you build or improve your online fundraising program.