What’s in my Inbox | Inspire and delight with personalized baby goats

August 2, 2016

What's in my Inbox


When it comes to nonprofit communications, from direct mail to email, personalization is key. If you’ve been following me for any period of time, you already know that this is a tenet that I hold true. An otherwise stellar direct mail package or email message is tainted by a “Dear Friend,” no matter how well-intentioned. And a “Dear Friend of X Animal Sanctuary” is only a hair better than ordinary. It’s far from extraordinary.

So what is?

This email, from Heifer International gets it right, and then some. Its prevailing trait is smart, creative personalization, which is seamlessly woven throughout the content of the message, from start to finish. As I result, I was left feeling utterly delighted, inspired, lucky, and amused.

It begins with the header. A goat named Pamela Grow?! Say what?!

What else is worth mentioning?

The call to action is specific (donate before midnight), provides an opportunity (a chance to have a goat named after you), is prominent (highlighted in blue), and is accessible (clickable).

The photo of the adorable baby goat, personalized with my name, along with a button to donate to enter the drawing. So there are two occasions for a redirect to their donation page.

The redirect page itself is brilliant and hammers the importance of giving now, creating a sense of urgency. And you know what? There’s storytelling in there, too, in the form of a concise narrative, accompanied by a photo of Ruwaida and Salehe Abdul — and their family’s goat! What could be better than seeing what your donation can do? Money in action!

So back to that baby goat prospect… While a goat named “Pamela Grow” sounds pretty appealing to me right now, how about “Pamela Groat” instead?

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