After watching Adam Green and Lauren Miller’s bootcamp video on how to write persuasive and targeted HTML emails, it just reminded me how easy it is for people to forget the mantra of KISS: keep it simple, Stupid! Too often, we (and by we, I include myself) tend to get carried away in the passion of the moment. We become overly verbose and forget that after just a couple of lines of text, if you haven’t gotten to your point, no one cares anymore. As Susan Powter would say….it’s time to stop the insanity!
So without further ado, here are some of the main components everyone should be aware of when writing any advocacy email:
1. Use a Catchy Subject Line
Don’t for one second think that because you know what H.R. 3440 means that everyone else does. If you want someone to take action on a particular bill, then make that apparent in the subject line. “Take Action on the Interchange Bill” or “Tell Congress to Cut Back on Spending” will be much more effective.
2. Grab Your Readers Attention in the First Sentence
You’ve gotten them to open the email, keep them reading! By providing a short, concise factoid that creates an emotional stir in the reader will make them feel compelled to keep reading.
3. Tell them Why
You’ve got them now go a little further and tell them what the issue is and why it affects them. Again, keep it direct and concise as to not lose the momentum, and no, just saying it’s “important” will not suffice.
4. Share the Action!
Now is the time to get them doing something, whether it be signing a petition, calling Congress, or using one of the plethora of tools available to send emails to their target legislators. Use a hyper link (in HTML email) or provide a URL for advocates to take action and be part of the campaign.
5. Provide the background
Now you can provide a little more detail about the particular bill or initiative and a more in-depth decription on what the issues are and why an advocate’s participation will make a difference.
Now was that so hard?