Take a look at this video appeal from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). I think it’s a very well crafted online appeal in a technical sense. Try putting your clinician hat on and see if you agree.

The appeal consists of a video embedded in an email appeal. Here’s what I like about the technique.

It starts with a decent subject line in the email: “Video: See what you’ve achieved.” Here’s the email:

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 6.21.32 pm

And once you’ve clicked on any of the several hot links and jump to the offer page, you find all on one page

  • The video (I’ll come back to that);
  • An offer using the ever-effective match, with urgency added by a reasonably tight end date;
  • Straightforward giving options that include an up front ‘urge’ to make it a monthly gift;
  • Security badges displayed;
  • All transaction/billing information is captured right on that one page — a huge plus (see my post last week, Online Transactions: Less Friction, More Money).

Could not possibly be easier to respond. No ‘friction’ here! And it works just as well on my mobile.

Here’s as much of the response page as I could fit in a screen shot.


Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 6.33.56 pm

But I still wouldn’t give this appeal an A+.

The video just lacks emotional punch. Ms Suh winds up talking about NRDC’s miid-year budget process. Who cares about that?! It all winds up sounding very institutional — “Look at the cool stuff we did … oh yes, with your help … now, about my budget.” Here’s the video …

Doesn’t work for me. But then I’m still buzzing over the Charity:Watch video I wrote about last week.

Remember, great technique alone (and I give NRDC a ’10’ for that) doesn’t get the donor over the line … the content does, if you don’t then make it impossibly complicated to respond.


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