Wish you had a celebrity pulling for you? It may not be the slam dunk you’re hoping for. A recent study, as reported in Advertising Age, found that celebs don’t really pull their weight:
… celebrity ads performed either below average or merely equaled it…. fewer than 12% of ads using celebrities exceeded a 10% lift, and one-fifth of celebrity ads had a negative impact on advertising effectiveness.
It would be hasty to draw the conclusion that celebrities are the kryptonite of marketing, but I think the study does emphasize a couple worthwhile points:
- A crummy ad is still crummy, even if it has a celebrity.
- The wrong celebrity — or a celebrity at the wrong time, like Tiger Woods nowadays — can make an ad much worse.
For nonprofits, the standards are even higher. An effective celebrity for us has to be known and liked by our audience — and also have an impeccable image. You can’t just engage some hot new property everyone on your staff thinks is cool and hope you’ll have a winner.
Best bet for most nonprofits is a celebrity is a beloved older one: More likely to be known by donors. Less likely to sully his or her (and your) image with dumb antics.
Download the full study here (PDF).
This study, reported at Gizmodo, suggests all kinds of weird fundraising strategies: People at the end of the alphabet are more impulsive buyers than those at the front:
Researchers tracked consumer patterns in a variety of situations. They consistently found that people whose last names came later in the alphabet tended to buy items far more quickly than those earlier in the alphabet, and the effect got stronger and stronger the later a person’s name appeared in the alphabet.
The researchers speculate that the use of alphabetical order during people’s childhoods creates a sense in later alphabet kids that, if they want to be first in line for something, they’re going to have to make it happen themselves.
I don’t plan on testing this any time soon. But if you do, let me know how it goes.
Thanks to Steven Screen for the tip.
You might be sending spam! Horrors! How do you know? Here are some hints from the Lyris HQ blog: What is spammy content and how does it hurt deliverability?
The content filters used now are generally more sophisticated than they were just a few years ago, when even “free” in a subject line could have been enough to block a message or route it to the bulk folder. However, if your message contains too many questionable words, phrases or questionable-looking punctuation or formatting, it could still get blocked or filtered.
- Anything that sounds like a “get rich quick” scheme or miracle cure
- Excessive exclamation points, question marks, asterisks or strings of unrelated punctuation marks
- Broken or nonstandard HTML code
As you can see, it’s not always obvious what’s spammy. Be sure to test your emails for spammy elements and make sure you get in those inboxes!