Since we discussed “marketing sins” yesterday, today my thoughts turned to religion (sort of).
Many years ago, when I was working for the Direct Marketing Association, I attended the Nonprofit Conference in New York. At the event, charities and other nonprofits shared stories and strategies they used to raise money for their causes.
One story in particular stuck out. A Catholic school wanted to raise money to support the school and other charitable work. So, they sent out a fundraising letter from the head of the school (we’ll call him Father Xavier).
Standard stuff, but this had a different twist. Included with the letter was a note printed in a font that looked like Father Xavier’s handwriting. It also included a copy of a picture of him with Pope John Paul II.
The response was overwhelming. People not only sent donations, they also returned the photos, with notes thanking the priest for sharing it.
Develop a Genuine Relationship
The people who got that letter felt such a strong connection to the school that they thought the letter had been sent to them personally.
Marketing (says Seth Godin) is “just like dating. It turns strangers into friends and friends into lifetime customers. Many of the rules of dating apply, and so do many of the benefits. A marketer goes on a date. If it goes well, the two of them go on another date. And then another. Until, after ten or twelve dates, both sides can really communicate with each other about their needs and desires.”
If you communicate, you’ll get friends, and lifetime relationships. If you shout, talk about yourself, or don’t listen, you’ll get enemies.