What’s in my Inbox | Animals in danger: The Humane Society Dayton needs YOU

June 21, 2016


My friend Sandy Rees recently forwarded this e-appeal from one of her favorite clients, The Humane Society of Dayton, my way, and it’s not very hard to see why. In fact, for me, the ‘why’ can be broken up into three parts:

  1. Short and sweet. One component of communicating frequently and communicating well is simplicity. Especially when you’re aiming for frequency, you want to keep it concise, because that makes each instance of communication more accessible. Inboxes can be busy places, and the task of sorting through one’s email is sometimes tedious and seemingly interminable. A testament to this sentiment is the fact that as of today, I have over 10,000 emails in my inbox that I’ve allowed to fester into a clutter problem. But I digress… Just keep it short and simple, okay? Be economical with your language and make each word count.
  1. The email header. I know it’s only two words, but when I see the words ‘Special Need’ associated with the Humane Society, consider my attention captured! Even if Sandy hadn’t sent this on to me, I’d have wanted to open it immediately.
  1. The great photos. Pictures of dogs, cats, and other cute things never get old. But if dogs, cats, and babies have zero to do with your organization, select a couple of high-resolution closeups that do.
  1. The MAKE A GIFT button. It’s one of the first things you see, and it’s right near a sweet Lassie look-alike with some of the most soulful eyes I’ve ever seen in my life.

This communication has drawn attention and urgency to a special event: HSD’s Summer Fund Drive. And it has inspired giving by explaining a serious issue — animals surviving the heat of summer — and speaking directly to the donor about how exactly they can help become the solution to this problem.

One thing I’ve noticed about The Humane Society, consistent across their many branches, is that they don’t harness their fundraising potential solely in the fact that they have an “easy” sell: an animal-driven rescue mission. Instead, they back it up with accessible, donor-focused communications. And cute animals or not, that’s something each and every nonprofit needs.

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