Money Words (guest post)

By Perry Esler, Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals:

Tell a story – give the number. That’s the simple, best-practise, message we share with hundreds of radio people every year at stations across North America. It works. $450M raised since 1998 for our partner children’s hospitals. Great stories with a great pitch means lots of calls to the donor hot line.

Now there’s research that shows we might be able to increase pledges off those calls by how we greet the donor. Philanthropic psychologist Jen Shang has released a study that shows five words tied to moral qualities prompt larger donations.






The Indiana University Professor tested her theory at an appeal of public radio station WFIU in Bloomington, Indiana. The phone volunteers answered by thanking the caller and then they would randomly pick two of the five words to describe the caller. It sounded something like this: ‘Thanks for calling. You’re a caring and compassionate donor.’ In the end female donors gave, on average, 10% more.  By contrast the use of these adjectives had no impact on men.  Suffice to say since most donors to our radiothons are women this may be worth a try.

Many events still don’t script their phone volunteers, but this study should be enough to convince you otherwise.

Here is a recent interview we at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals conducted with Professor Shang about the study.  It concludes that a focus on the connection between moral identity and an individuals cause might create a higher ROI than focusing solely on the cause

Click here to listen to an interview Perry did with Prof. Shang.
Follow Perry on twitter here 

Don’t Be Proud

This is a great email from Drayton Bird:

When David drafted Ogilvy on Advertising he sent the manuscript to Joel and wrote “Kindly improve.”

The moral: always get someone else to look at your stuff. (I usually ask Al, who is a very good judge).

On one occasion, but only one, I edited some copy David wrote. He was very cunning – he sent it via someone else, who asked me “Could you look at some copy we’re thinking of running for the World Wildlife Fund”.

I was quite critical of one thing. Then I was astounded when the great man rang me and said “That was my copy – and you are right.”

The moral: don’t be proud.

If you’d like to know precisely what I said to David – where I quote his exact words – I tell the story in my second copywriting video.

In the first video, however, I do tell you what qualities David Ogilvy thought made a good copywriter – and who am I to disagree?

And who am I to disagree with Drayton Bird! / / / /

How Brain Science Turns Browsers into Buyers

There was a panel at SXSW this year on this topic. Fascinating stuff. Here are the slides from Roger Doorley’s presentation, thanks to Neuroscience Marketing.

He explains:

I led off with a quick intro to describe the importance of understanding non-conscious motivations that drive buying behavior, and then provided two examples of research-based strategies to improve conversion. The first was the Doppelganger Effect, in which we develop a brand preference when we see ourselves using a product. This happens even when we fully understand that it’s a crude simulation of reality, and that the pictured event never really occurred.

The second strategy was based on research that shows when primed with an image of an attractive woman, male buyers experience behavioral changes and become more oriented toward short-term gratification and goals

<div style=”width:425px” id=”__ss_11987535″> <strong style=”display:block;margin:12px 0 4px”><a href=”; title=”How Brain Science Turns Browsers into Buyers: SXSW 2012″ target=”_blank”>How Brain Science Turns Browsers into Buyers: SXSW 2012</a></strong> <div style=”padding:5px 0 12px”> View more <a href=”; target=”_blank”>PowerPoint</a> from <a href=”; target=”_blank”>Roger Dooley</a> </div> </div>

What Book Has Changed Your (Professional) Life

Nancy Schwartz asked this question of people recently. It got me thinking. I have read a lot of books and most of them would come recommended and 9 times out of 10 I nod in agreement and like what I read. Many often inspire me to email myself with ideas on how I can change what I am doing, based on what is in the book. So mostly, it is money well spent.

But when I was thinking about this question, only one book stood out…by a mile. I have to acknowledge Paul Dervan for recommending it to me (in fact he gave me his copy, which I still have!).

The book….Commonsense Direct Marketing, by Drayton Bird. (it is now updated to Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing).

I read this book about five years into my career and it was a total game changer for me. It was a book that made me stop and think…..differently.

This book isn’t full of jargon, so its pretty accesible.  It is crammed full of examples. Wherever Drayton makes a point (and he is always pretty straight to the point, calls it as he sees it) he has an example to back it up. The book may look a bit college/text booky when you pick it up…but its not. Its full of practical insights.

This is the kind of book that gives you ideas and inspiration after every few pages. This is a funny book, engaging, entertaining….and educating.

What is great about this book is the fact that it is a reference. Some of the examples are old, but they are really relevant.Which makes them timeless.

And if you don’t believe me….here is what someone who knows a lot more about a lot more than I do had to say about it…

“Drayton Bird knows more about direct marketing than anyone else in the world. His book about it is pure gold”.

 David Ogilvy.

This book is indeed, pure gold. Here is why I like Drayton!

Free Stuff – sort of!

Bid for a Wii Fit and 2 Free Tickets to Fundraising Irelands Direct Marketing: Maximising the Impact seminar next Friday. The amount you bid gets donated to a charity of your choice!

Its simple all you have to do is tweet your bid and the charity you want to donate to. Use this tweet as your template

I Bid €XXX to win a Wii Fit & 2 tickets to @Fundraising_Ire seminar I will donate to @YourCharityName #MaxTheImpact

FREE Ticket to Kick Start 2011

Exciting news!

I have a FREE ticket to the Ask Direct Kick start 2011 event to giveaway. And there are two easy ways to win a ticket

For those on twitter: All you have to do is re- tweet this:

I’d like to attend #kickstart2o11 @conorbyrne @ask_direct (RT to win Free Ticket)

For those who arent on twitter: All you have to do is post a comment here and in less than 140 characters say why you would like to attend

I will give the ticket away on Monday when I will randomly pick someone from all the entries. The event is on next Friday, more details here