Boy do I hate that mash-up!

But I persisted in reading this fascinating commentary on a new book by the title, Emotionomics: Winning Hearts and Minds, by Dan Hill. I read a ton of stuff on the topic of how people process things, and I'll definitely add this to my reading list.

Till we're blue in the face, The Agitator will bang away at the importance of emotion to effective persuasion … whether your objective, as a nonprofit fundraiser or communicator, is to raise money or to sell your advocacy POV.

Hill gives his five reasons why emotions matter in selling to consumers:

  • Consumers feel before they think, and feelings happen fast (have you read Malcolm Gladwell's Blink?).
  • Emotions act as a gatekeeper, such as to ads.
  • Believeability is based on a “gut feeling.”
  • Emotional connections help consumers “jump over the fear” of being sold to, which fear is rampant in today's skeptical marketplace.
  • And of course, emotional connections build the foundation for loyalty.

We tend to think of emotion as something we should deal with in our marketing communications. And that's certainly true.

But the role of emotion goes further and deeper into the very operations of a business or nonprofit.

The author of the commentary used to run a business that facilitates and aggregates customer feedback online ( As he observes, much of consumer-generated content on the internet — millions and millions of comments — is generated by really unhappy customers! Other marketers commonly believe that for every disgruntled customer who does speak out, dozens or more lurk silently and angrily in the weeds.

For his part, Hill writes that nothing else is more emotional for the customer — and potentially dangerous for the company — than customer service.

Think about that the next time you're reviewing the quality and tenor of your nonprofit's various “help” channels … in-bound call lines, online “help” and “order” and “donate” forms, whatever.

Read the commentary. Check out the book.

And by all means, get emotional!


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