The holiday season is a time for charitable appeals. But whenever I write for non-profit organizations, I try to avoid asking donors for money. Instead, I consider the rewards of supporting that organization and craft those into a benefit-oriented offer.
Think about it. People donate to causes because they want to feel good about themselves. They want to know that they're making a difference in the world. They derive gratification from helping people less fortunate than themselves. So don't ask for money. Offer them these warm, fuzzy feelings.
Instead of, "Please support our worthy animal shelter," empower readers with the chance to, "Keep this dog alive long enough to find a loving home." Instead of asking, "Give generously to our scholarship fund," offer a chance to, "Make a lifetime of difference for a deserving teen." Turn your fundraising ask into an offer.
A BMW executive once took me to task for writing that his company manufactured quality automobiles. "There's high quality and poor quality," he chided me. "Quality in itself is a neutral descriptor."
Ever since, I've remembered to write "high quality," "superior quality," or "top quality." Never just plain quality.
Probably not what the deli intended
Lively Writing, on Time and on Target
When you message needs to engage and persuade, be sure to approach it from the Write Angle. Udi Shorr writes marketing and sales-training presentations for live audiences, video, print, and the Web. You benefit from years of marketing experience with Fortune 500 clients.