Closing the Cause Marketing Deal: Feelers - dummies

Closing the Cause Marketing Deal: Feelers

By Joe Waters, Joanna MacDonald

The cause marketing prospects which are feelers are driven by their emotions. They don’t fixate on the graphs and charts and numbers. They focus on the pictures, watch the videos, and listen to the stories you have to share as they emotionally try to connect with your mission and the opportunity for their company. It doesn’t have to make sense, but it does have to feel right for their business.

Because causes are no strangers to emotional appeals, dealing with feelers is easy for most nonprofits. However, you should take care to avoid a few hazards:

  • Don’t overdo it. Even with feelers, an overly emotional pitch can be a big turn-off. Emotions are like explosives. A little bit of dynamite can pack a lot of punch. Think twice about how much you use.

  • Balance emotion with other appeals. Go for both the head and the heart. You can balance the two by using figures and facts to appeal to the prospect’s logical side and then drill down deeper for an emotional connection.

    Saying that your food pantry served 75,000 people last year is important, but so, too, is your story of one local family that benefited from your pantry. Talk about their hardship and how the pantry helped turn their lives around. Don’t ever let the prospect forget that you’re dealing with an issue that impacts real people.

  • Stay positive. Research on fear appeals shows that when they are overused, people will shut down and tune you out. Have you ever felt this way when a fundraising appeal overdid fear, anger, guilt, or shame? What’s more effective is to focus on hope, joy, love, respect, and other positive emotions.

    People want to feel good about supporting a cause. Don’t deprive them of that feeling, or they’ll deprive you of their support.

However, fear can have its place as an appeal. The Not Even Once ad campaign from the Montana Meth Project is a great example of successful fear marketing. These powerful spots are prescribed in high doses that are appropriate for the teens they aim to sway.

The ads wouldn’t resonate with other audiences, nor will they remain forever effective with their target audience before the Meth Project will have to adopt a different approach.