A person’s happiness is tied to the many facets of philanthropy, so said Jeanette McMurtry, principle of e4marketing in her presentation “Psychology Based Marketing”, which was delivered at a recent PEP Direct event.
In referring to Jon Haidt’s The Happiness Hypothesis, McMurtry explains that many of the elements that make people feel happy play to the strengths of nonprofits. These include: feeling connected to others; making a difference; associate with and experience “good”; reciprocity; and fairness and justice.
With people already subconsciously hardwired to seek what nonprofits offer, the next step is to speak directly to that part of the mind to engage donors in the desired behavior: making a donation. Regardless of the channels you use to fundraise, McMurtry provides some facts that are actionable for your organization.
There are words that you can use that will garner a positive reaction from your recipients, and will, at least, get your message some attention. McMurtry shared some of the most effective choices, including: dependable, guaranteed, immediately, improved, recommended, unconditional, unsurpassed, urgent, and wonderful.
According to McMurtry – and supported by independent research by Jan Whit, Ronald Green, and Virginia Johnson – just the addition of color will increase the chances of your appeal being read by 80 percent over black and white, while, when used in direct mail, color boosts response by 45 percent. Different colors have different meanings, and inspire different responses, making the choice of color important.
McMurtry shared some of the meanings that different colors can have:
- Red: increases physical energy, stamina, spontaneity, passion
- Orange: stimulates creativity, productivity, enthusiasm, emotional expression
- Yellow: increases fun, humor, logic, intellect
- Green: supports balance, harmony, nature, acceptance
- Blue: increases calmness, peace, love, emotional depth, devotion
- Violet: stimulates intuition, imagination, meditation, artistic qualities
While the number of fundraising channels is growing – all with varying and growing levels of success – the subconscious mind is still connected to the tangible. Holding a piece of direct mail in their hands causes donors to have the perception that the offer is “more real” and carries deeper emotional processing.
McMurtry shared some statistics published by the DMA for commercial mail:
- 70 percent of consumers conducted a repeat transaction due to receiving a direct mail piece.
- 67 percent of online searches were driven by a direct mail piece, and 39 percent resulted in a sale.
The numbers shared for nonprofits were equally as encouraging: the DMA projects that nonprofits will get a return of $17.04 for every dollar spent on direct mail fundraising. Adding personalization will boost results even further.
These are just a few ways that organizations can reach donors through the unconscious mind. When combined with the knowledge of your development department and experience of direct marketing fundraising agencies like PEP, these are opportunities for incremental growth within your existing fundraising program.
Jeanette McMurtry is the principle of e4marketing, and can be contacted at email@example.com.