Zig When They Zag to Spur Action (Case Study)

Right-Things, Right-Now Nonprofit Marketing

I awoke yesterday morning to a 6″ topper of new snow here in New Jersey, adding to the 24″ already there. Then we picked up the voice mail from 4:32 a.m., alerting us to a two-hour school delay.  Ugh, it’s like Groundhog Day come to life.

After getting our daughter going on her homework project, I finally got to my desk and scanned my emails…

It was no surprise that so many of them featured the weather in their subject lines, with references to winter, blizzard, polar bear, storm and snow. That’s the kind of relevance—linking your content to what’s top of mind for your supporters and prospects—needed to get attention and motivate folks to take the actions your org need. That’s right-things, right-now marketing.

But what really caught my attention—and motivated me to open an email I never would have otherwise— was the subject line highlighted above: Remembering Hot, Sunny Days Ripe With Endless Possibilities. WNYC struck me with just the image I was looking for, providing me with a vision of sunny, sweaty, lemonade-lusting relief on a cold winter’s day.

They zigged, creatively flipping relevance on its head. By referring to the opposite of what was happening, they did even one better than referring to the current weather. Keep in mind that this works so well here because we yearn to escape the cold winter for the 180-degree flip of a summery day.

Give ‘em what they want in a new way, with a 180-take on relevance. Zig when they zag!

Have you ever zigged when they zagged? If so, what happened? Please share your experience here.

More ideas on how to zig-zag to increase your message relevance

Nancy Schwartz on February 19, 2014 in Right-Things Right-Now Marketing | 1 comment
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