Never ask for more than you really need. The Web is jam-packed with folks asking you to buy this, donate that, sign here and join up over there. Most of those requests will go unfulfilled. Sometimes that’s because the message is lousy or because it’s poorly targeted. But sometimes the sale falls flat just because the salesman unintentionally makes it harder for the customer to say yes.
I’ll give you an example. I want you to tweet the link to this article. But that doesn’t mean I want you to open up another browser tab, type the URL for Twitter, sign in, copy the headline, etc. Nobody’s going to go through all 10 tedious little steps just because I asked. But that’s cool, I understand. That’s why there’s a button at the bottom of this article labeled “Share.” Move your cursor down there, click on the Twitter button and the sharing software will do the grunt work for you. You’re much more likely to help me out when I only ask you for what I really need.
The Red Cross learned that lesson in a big way this week. It netted more than $8 million from a text messaging donation campaign to aid recovery work in Haiti. Part of that total stems from the scope of the tragedy and the fact that the White House encouraged donations. But the Red Cross also made it incredibly easy to donate $10 via your cell phone, just by texting Haiti to 90999.
Pete Cashmore calls it the antidote to “slacktivism.” It just sounds like common sense to me. The Red Cross didn’t ask people to go to their computers, log on to the Red Cross Web site, fill out a donor card and enter all their credit card info before donating. They just asked people to say yes to a donation. They made it easy. They asked for exactly what they needed.
What are you doing to make it easier for your fans to get involved? Can you think of another organization that does a really good job of asking for exactly what they need?
Image credit, BlackJack3D via iStock