Adams Hussey & Associates' Jim Hussey on Telling Great Stories
Boldt: How does emotional copywriting transfer to the e-mail or Web site? Or is the electronic medium the wrong place for too much emotion/storytelling?
Hussey: Everything conveys to the other. We're finding that the same type of stories and issues that work in direct mail also work online and vice versa. They're definitely tied together.
However, you have to be a lot tighter in your writing for anything that's Internet-based. Also, there are methods for trying to provide the reader of e-mail an option of clicking on a button to go to or the Internet site where they can read more about it.
Boldt: How has this timeworn tactic evolved? Because of current poor economic conditions, is it perhaps one of the most important tactics to win an increasingly stingy donor/prospect base?
Hussey: That's a very good question. Over the past one or two decades, it's become more and more difficult to develop a successful campaign based purely on the emotional value of the issue. I think some of that has to do with the various scandals that occurred during that time—the controversy over some of the 9/11 charities, the United Way's scandal. People are more skeptical about how their money is spent, so emotion alone just doesn't do it. You also have to be able to prove how their money is spent and prove the efficiency of the organization. They must understand that they're giving to something that is worthwhile and that their contribution is going to make a difference.
This article originally appeared in the October 2008 issue of Inside Direct Mail, a sister publication to Target Marketing magazine. To learn more about Inside Direct Mail, visit www.insidedirect mail.com.