Last night I donated $10 to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief.
Why? Because Jimmy Fallon asked me to.
OK - I love Jimmy Fallon. He's not only talented but he was raised right. Back in the mid-90s I worked with him. His Dad used to drive him to gigs. I gave them a different way to drive home to shave an hour off their commute. Jimmy sent me a Thank You note. He was 16 and already writing crazy Thank You notes. (I saved it) Jimmy Fallon gives back. He uses his success as a way to improve the world. He remembers the way he was raised. And he's funny and talented. What's not to love?
But two things had to align for me to act.
1. I had to be motivated. Jimmy Fallon asked me to (as a viewer, not as the lady who gave such great directions they warranted a thank you note) and I trust him and respect his own generousity as evident through years of watching him step up to do for others.
2. I had to have the immediate opportunity to act on my motivation. Had Jimmy Fallon merely given me a web address or a mailing address, I may have jotted it down - or not. I may have acted - or not. This work of looking for work keeps me very busy. And fairly broke. So I probably would have lost the impulse or reasoned or maybe I am giving myself too much credit. I would just forget about it.
The best calls to action have the following attributes:
3. Customer/Reader/Viewer focused
4. Drives to the right action
5. Delivers in the right format
6. Includes a link to a web page for more information
7. Has a balanced time/value proposition (the lower the value to the viewer/reader , the simpler and faster it must be to do)
8. Fosters a sense of urgency
9. Provides immediate opportunity.
10. Begin a relationship.
Jimmy Fallon briefly described NY after Hurricane Sandy and pointed out the contributions of so many fire, police, early responders, healthcare workers. (1,2,3)
I felt appropriately guilty and useless and in need of a way to feel better.(4)
Then he clearly articulated how those of us at home in our pajamas can do something. He provided 2 options complete with a demonstration. (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
For those of you I have made feel appropriately guilty and useless and in need of a way to feel better, take our your cell phone.
Now text the word Redcross to the number 90999. Press send. $10 will be added to your next phone bill and will be directed to the Red Cross. (10)
You will get a message asking you to confirm. Type yes and hit send.
The best calls-to-action also inspire a continued relationship and that means participation. If I tell you, and you tell 2 friends and they tell 2 friends, we not only re-enact the old Faberge shampoo commercial from the 70s, we raise a little bit of money for the American Red Cross to continue their Hurricane Relief efforts.
One more time:
Text the word Redcross to 90999. You will get a message asking you to confirm. Type yes and hit send. What could be easier than that? You'll barely notice the extra $10 on your phone bill. But you will have done some good for someone else without having to get off your couch.
Are you looking for someone to come up with great calls-to-action for your organization or business? I'm looking for a job!