How to write a greataction alert?Open space session @ #rc12@p_v_c@ChangeGER
01 Intro - Why is email important?02 When to send an email?03 Who to write it to?04 How to write an action alert?05 Testing!
01. Why is email important?
Email is a great engine!     Why it’s still a revolutionary form of communication:      It’s cheap.      It’s timely.  ...
You do not build a list,    you build a community!5
02. When to write an email
CRISITUNITYCRISIS + OPPORTUNITYTHEORY OF CHANGECAUSE AND EFFECT RELATION„When you do this X, Y will change.“
No F1 in brutal Bahrain8
TOC    Red Bull is the biggest team in racing and has a sensitive brand.    As consumers, we have power over that brand.  ...
03. Whom to write it to
The Audience• Don’t assume our audience has a shared  ideology. (Even within a certain cause  category.)• Don’t assume our...
The Audience• Hint: Email to your Mama trick   • Personal stories are more powerful than talking     points   • Use a frie...
Take care:     Write, as if you write a     letter to the prime     minister.     Deine Email ist nichts wert, wenn die   ...
04. How to write it
Main #failures:      „The policy paper“ email.         Often, emails are an in depth explanation of the          sender‘...
Anatomy of an Email
Non body elements (don‘t rush).                         • Subjects                         • Call-out text                ...
Subjects• Short• Rätselhaft• Relevant• Urgency / Timeline• Country specific• Alliteration
*Subject Line Derby*• Time: 2 minutes• Activity: Individual brainstorm of as many creative,  compelling subjects as possib...
Campaign:Tell Angela Merkel to speak   out for Saudi Women
Call-out Text• Needs to stand on its own   • Tell the complete story   • Identify the target and the ask   • Avoid confusi...
Call-out Image• Look for images that:   • Humanize the issue   • Call attention to a     well-known brand or     figure
Body elements.                       Optional: (Hook)                       Crisitunity                       Theory of...
Hook• Objective: Catch the reader’s attention   • You have 2-7 seconds to make the reader want     more
Explain the Crisitunity• Objective: Explain the crisis to the reader, highlight our  opportunity, and emphasize the urgenc...
Theory of Change• Objective: convince the reader his or her  action is necessary and will matter.• A cause-and-effect sequ...
Theory of Change•    “Girls like Mina Johnson    won’t be able to play    football unless school    administrators change ...
Theory of Change        • “Rick Santorum uses          racist language when          talking about immigration          on...
Make an Ask• Objective: Get the reader to click the petition  link• Ask statements should be direct, simple, and  come as ...
05. Testing
For more info, contact:@ChangeGER@p_v_c
#RC12: Writing Great Email Action Alerts
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#RC12: Writing Great Email Action Alerts

  1. 1. How to write a greataction alert?Open space session @ #rc12@p_v_c@ChangeGER
  2. 2. 01 Intro - Why is email important?02 When to send an email?03 Who to write it to?04 How to write an action alert?05 Testing!
  3. 3. 01. Why is email important?
  4. 4. Email is a great engine!  Why it’s still a revolutionary form of communication:  It’s cheap.  It’s timely.  Actionable, and flexible.  Everyone uses it.  Measureable.4
  5. 5. You do not build a list, you build a community!5
  6. 6. 02. When to write an email
  7. 7. CRISITUNITYCRISIS + OPPORTUNITYTHEORY OF CHANGECAUSE AND EFFECT RELATION„When you do this X, Y will change.“
  8. 8. No F1 in brutal Bahrain8
  9. 9. TOC Red Bull is the biggest team in racing and has a sensitive brand. As consumers, we have power over that brand. If we convince one brand not to race in Bahrain, others will folllow. It will send shock waves to the brutal government of Bahrain. Signing this petition now helps the people of Bahrain. ben.margetts@avaaz.org9
  10. 10. 03. Whom to write it to
  11. 11. The Audience• Don’t assume our audience has a shared ideology. (Even within a certain cause category.)• Don’t assume our audience has knowledge of a specific issue. (Even if they’ve taken action in that cause category before.)
  12. 12. The Audience• Hint: Email to your Mama trick • Personal stories are more powerful than talking points • Use a friendly, familiar tone • Don’t assume knowledge or use acronyms or jargon • Avoid sarcasm, memes, internet jokes he won’t understand
  13. 13. Take care: Write, as if you write a letter to the prime minister. Deine Email ist nichts wert, wenn die Menschen nicht mitmachen.13
  14. 14. 04. How to write it
  15. 15. Main #failures:  „The policy paper“ email.  Often, emails are an in depth explanation of the sender‘s policy.  „The email with no asks. Or too many asks.“ One ask per email!15
  16. 16. Anatomy of an Email
  17. 17. Non body elements (don‘t rush). • Subjects • Call-out text • Call-out images17
  18. 18. Subjects• Short• Rätselhaft• Relevant• Urgency / Timeline• Country specific• Alliteration
  19. 19. *Subject Line Derby*• Time: 2 minutes• Activity: Individual brainstorm of as many creative, compelling subjects as possible for a given campaign.• Goal: Practice thinking through different kinds of subject lines.
  20. 20. Campaign:Tell Angela Merkel to speak out for Saudi Women
  21. 21. Call-out Text• Needs to stand on its own • Tell the complete story • Identify the target and the ask • Avoid confusing acronyms or jargon
  22. 22. Call-out Image• Look for images that: • Humanize the issue • Call attention to a well-known brand or figure
  23. 23. Body elements.  Optional: (Hook)  Crisitunity  Theory of change  Ask  Delivery (Tying it to the real world)  Movement story  Sources23
  24. 24. Hook• Objective: Catch the reader’s attention • You have 2-7 seconds to make the reader want more
  25. 25. Explain the Crisitunity• Objective: Explain the crisis to the reader, highlight our opportunity, and emphasize the urgency of his or her action.
  26. 26. Theory of Change• Objective: convince the reader his or her action is necessary and will matter.• A cause-and-effect sequence that begins with something the reader can do and ends with the resolution of the crisis.
  27. 27. Theory of Change• “Girls like Mina Johnson won’t be able to play football unless school administrators change their minds. Sign our petition to demand they let girls play.” • Theory of change: MISSING
  28. 28. Theory of Change • “Rick Santorum uses racist language when talking about immigration on the campaign trail and during Republican debates. Sign this petition to tell him to stop attacking migrants.” • Theory of change: IMPLAUSIBLE
  29. 29. Make an Ask• Objective: Get the reader to click the petition link• Ask statements should be direct, simple, and come as early in the email as possible. • Hint: Ask yourself if each piece of information is worth delaying the first link. • 2 times don‘t matter
  30. 30. 05. Testing
  31. 31. For more info, contact:@ChangeGER@p_v_c

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