I got three critical emails in my personal inbox today: One from Seth Godin, asking me to buy an ebook, which would help buy malaria nets for children in need. One from TOMS Shoes, letting me know about their founder's book 'Start Something That Matters'. One from charity: water thanking all donors for what they have given to the cause over the past 5 years. Just this little example goes to show you how crowded the cause-marketing scene is. Everyone wants your attention for something worthwhile. You have limited dollars and time. What's a smart marketer to do to break through the clutter?
How about giving something back, instead of just asking? I got an email last night from charity: water saying they would be releasing the thank you videos online today. They would be thanking their donors starting at 9:30AM. I rmade a mental note to check out the site this morning. Of course, there they were: fun, genuine clips showing charity: water staff thanking all sorts of people who had ran campaigns, given up their birthdays and donated over the years. I thought it was cool, so I tweeted it. In less than an hour, charity water was following me back.
charity: water made a point to connect and treated me as a VIP with premium information. They emailed me a thank you note and they entertained me with a series of videos, while showing me how others have donated over the years (including a 3 year old!). They thanked me again for Tweeting. At the end of my fifth video view, I didn't mind the donate button. I was at this giant, virtual birthday party.
This was labor intensive on their part, but the back and forth was an example of what true (social media) relations should be like.
OK, one last point for staff members who were chugging Ouzo to thank Dimitri for his contributions to charity: water: Guys, you need to mix it with water and have some meze with it. You don't just gulp it down like that! But then, since you're hard core, I understand.