Give them something to remember you by
Have you ever met someone, had an enjoyable yet brief conversation, and went home thinking “Wow, I just made a cool new friend. I wouldn’t mind getting to know that person.” Then maybe a month later, you see that person again. You’re excited to say hi, and pick up where you left off. But when you approach them, you’re immediately disappointed — even embarrassed to find that s/he completely forgot your name or worse yet, your face, altogether?
Maya Angelou once said, “I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
We learn in life that creating lasting, memorable experiences is paramount when it comes to nurturing friendships, and this holds true with the relationships an organization must build for their donors. In theory, someone will not become a donor if they don’t feel a strong connection to your mission. So apart from a great brand (that should powerfully convey the value of your mission), what else can you do to ensure this type of bond initiates?
Fortunately, we live in a digital world where technology harnesses creativity with endless possibilities for making connections. For instance, animation and motion design can go a long way when you have a strong and genuine concept to execute.
The Rainforest Alliance, for example, works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. Their global reach is complicated and involves millions of people. So how do we ensure someone cares? Attach your mission to one simplified concept that makes a big issue relatable on the individual level.
Isolating a strong concept: “The survival of the rainforest can fight climate change”
According to 2015’s UN climate talks in Paris, climate change is a far-reaching, time-sensitive, buzzworthy issue. But how do we make this a personal issue through the sometimes impersonal channel of a computer or mobile device?
It comes down to execution. Approach your landing page design without limitation:
Consider building an immersive digital experience by using animation and sound: the soft background hum of the wind rustling in ancient rainforests and the chirping of exotic macaws coupled with a fullscreen image of the rainforest. Then cut the sound, and fade the saturated green canopy to black and white (emulating the loss of your rainforest). By showing what’s at stake in real time, you’ve successfully caught your user’s attention. Now you can continue to move them through infographics that animate in as they scroll, making the experience much more memorable.
Cross-channel — mail:
If you have an integrated donor list, it’s not a terrible idea to surround them with the same messaging (both visual and semantic) in your next mailing package. This could be an additional insert that shares the same infographic-like statistics on the landing page. Feature a URL, and you can send them online for the full experience.
Congratulations! You got your audience to the ground floor by connecting them with a very complex, yet memorable concept. 1-2 weeks from now, you may properly speak to them as a supporter and make that direct donation ask. They will remember what they experienced, and will more likely convert from prospect to donor, or make that next gift because you gave them a bunch of reasons to care (and reminded them that they’re the kind of people who believe in good causes).
Another immersive example: Put wildlife lovers in the seat of a poacher’s low-flying helicopter.
Other ways to inform:
Show your donors exactly how their dollar works, because they want — and deserve — to know. Assuage their concerns by creating a landing page experience that’s all about transparency of mission. This could come in many forms. You can create an interactive infographic or you can digitalize your annual report.
Make your audience feel heard and understood:
There are quizzes, petitions and surveys that engage and educate your donor, but there are also interactive experiences that accomplish this and more. Have your audience find out what their African spirit animal is, or have them sign a petition page that not only talks about the child trafficking issue, but shows it to them.
It’s all about the bond. It’s the age-old simple wisdom behind branding. Nobody is going to care about you if they don’t know and understand you. And most people, despite how much time has passed, will not forget how they feel about something or someone they truly cared about. Do that, and you have the power to not just grow, but retain a loyal donor base.