I heard about Caroline’s quest to raise funds for the National MS Society through the WOMMA Daily Word newsletter. On January 12th, Caroline — a member of the kBuzz team — was asking those who visited the company’s site to subscribe to their blog. Her incentive was one you could not refuse even if you were not the emotional type. For every person who subscribed to her RSS feed, Caroline was going to donate $0.5 to the National MS Society. Caroline’s mom suffers from MS, so the issue is close to her heart. Caroline was also encouraging visitors to match her donation, if they could.
What do you think? Of course, I clicked immediately. So easy to do. So much more meaningful than checking personal email 20 times an hour.
Now that I re-read Caroline’s entry, I can put on my marketing cap and see how she layered the opt-in for this simple act for a sensitive topic. At the end of the day, this initiative does bring traffic to the company blog. But she comes across as a sincere person who is being smart about leveraging all the tools she can to raise awareness about a cause. She’s honest and up front about her mission. She puts herself out there and takes the first action by donating money herself. She tells visitors to sign up for the blog only if they really care about what she and her teammates write about. And she leaves the door open for those who want to be involved but do not want to sign up. She tells them how they can help by simply forwarding her link.
I think rallying troops around a cause online is as much a craft as it is a tactic. RSS4MS is a good example of authentic online communications.