Dangle the Carrot: 3 Ways to Encourage the Next Step

In her continuing series, we welcome special guest, Stelter Editorial Director, Katie Parker.

Last week I was working with a marketing director at a national publishing firm who inspired me. She shared a term I hadn’t used before: Dangle the carrot. She was asking how we move prospects to take the next action. What was the carrot that motivates a step?

I loved the analogy.

We talked about three ways to dangle the carrot in planned giving marketing.

1. Give away some, but not all of the secrets.

The gist: Prove that you have desirable information and that you’re a leading source for it, but don’t let your marketing push be your diary. Leave something out that requires the prospect to follow up.

A planned giving example: Educate your prospect on giving potential—a charitable gift annuity, perhaps, but require a direct reach out to receive a personal illustration reflecting the prospect’s philanthropic goals, exact age and giving amount.

2. Use the “but wait, there’s more!” tactic.

The gist: Informercials excel at this. Offer great value upfront, but sweeten it with an additional, related lift.

Maybe a gift match: Not only will your legacy help the animals in our care in the future, an immediate gift match from a special donor will put $1,000 toward their wellbeing today.

3. Leverage breaking news.

The gist: Planned giving can be light on timely topics, but new gift rates, charitable legislation or even age-related changes (think a donor hitting 70½) can be reasons to communicate. Share that change is here and that the prospect can benefit but they need to act quickly.

I love that in each example the dangled carrot is a positive motivator; the donor wins by reaching out. With a simple call to you, the carrot is theirs.

What do you think of this analogy? And, what types of carrots have you used to get donors to take the next step?

Leave a Reply