Bree Richards, Author at JVA Campaigns
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Bree Richards, Digital Director

As Digital Director, Bree Richards specializes in planning, building, and optimizing digital campaigns that drive engagement and results. Having worked on digital programs across the country, from state-level movements to nationwide campaigns, she uses her strong background in digital marketing and voter engagement to craft data-driven strategies that exceed client goals.

Before coming to JVA, Bree helped execute digital strategies for a wide variety of companies, nonprofits, and candidates.

Outside of work, Bree is a proud news junkie, foodie, TikTok trendsetter, and University of Dayton alumna.

Persuading with Video: 3 Essential Rules for Scriptwriting
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Persuading with Video: 3 Essential Rules for Scriptwriting

Whether you are hoping to influence decision-makers, voters, or stakeholders, video is, by far, more effective than any other format —  but only when you use it right. Despite the widespread use of video, many organizations don’t know the best way to use it. Video persuasion must be emotional, believable, relatable, and of an appropriate length to change minds. Here’s how to use videos the right way.

1. Make the first few seconds count.

This is when internet users decide whether or not to scroll. You have less than 3 seconds to draw them in. Make it count. See rule number three for the best ways to keep their attention.

2. Keep it short.

Users are more likely to watch short videos to completion, thus more likely to hear your whole message. 30 seconds is the absolute maximum. If you’re hoping to persuade an audience on an issue, that audience probably isn’t likely to want to watch a video on that topic voluntarily. That is, unless you can keep it short enough for them to find it worthwhile to see what happens.

3. Use at least one of the following: storytelling, emotion, or hard facts.

When you are the expert on a subject and the one doing the persuading, you may think that others will find your issue position persuasive for the same reasons you do. For example, if you are a proponent of creating jobs with infrastructure investment, you may be tempted to write a script with the top-line numbers, such as the $2.6 trillion investment gap. The truth is, in a fast-moving digital world, users are only willing to watch videos for a few reasons:

  • to be entertained (storytelling)
  • to be inspired (emotion)
  • to learn something new (hard facts)

A concept like the $2.6 trillion investment gap simply doesn’t inspire a user to any of those actions and thus won’t persuade most users. It’s a good statistic to include in a video, but it shouldn’t be the main focus. Here are three alternative examples:

Best Practices: Email Marketing
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Best Practices: Email Marketing

Test everything, segment your audience, tell a story, and follow best practices.

The average person sees 90-100 emails per day—that’s why it’s imperative to cultivate an engaging, strategic email marketing plan. A good email’s key elements include an interesting subject line, a creative opener, the most important information “above the fold,” graphics or links, and a clear call to action. Remember, once an email is sent, there is no way to edit or recall it, so emails are extremely important to get right the first time.

ESSENTIAL RULES

Makes sure you follow these essential rules:

  1. Have a clear call to action, making only one specific ask.
  2. Don’t confuse your audience with multiple messages—only have one. Aim to write two to four medium-sized paragraphs, focusing on one message.
  3. Keep it relevant. You know what your audience will be interested in based on how you captured their email addresses in the first place—stick to relevant messaging.
  4. Talk about them, not about you.
  5. Mobile opens account for more than 50% of all email opens, so all emails should be optimized for mobile.

Be sure to stick with one message at a time to get the most engagement out of your email marketing. Most emails will fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Welcome emails help establish a connection between your brand and your new subscriber—don’t miss this opportunity to introduce yourself!
  2. Survey emails
  3. Newsletters
  4. Petitions
  5. Fundraising emails are successful when used in rapid-response topical situations. Adding buttons for predefined donation amounts helps users pick an amount. Be careful not to overuse fundraising emails—they should be used as part of a greater strategy.
  6. Announcements
GROWING A LIST

Cultivate and Engage

Growing your list is possible through targeted Facebook ads to a relevant audience with a clear call to action. Once you’ve collected names through a Facebook campaign, you’ll want to develop and engage your list with relevant content.

TESTING

Test Everything

Your unique audience will react differently to content than any other audience. That’s why we stress the importance of testing all aspects of an email campaign.

What Should I Test?

Structure your email campaign and design your creative to test the following email components:

  • Subject lines
  • Content
  • Layout
  • Call to action
  • Day of the week
  • Sender
WHEN YOU SEND MATTERS

Emails sent during specific hours on certain days typically perform better. In general, we recommend sending emails at 8a.m., 12p.m., 2p.m. or 7p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Monday, or Friday, in that order. But this will vary with each audience you’re emailing.

At JVA Campaigns

With our extensive background in communications and media relations, we guide organizations on developing and delivering strategic messaging at the right time and to the right audience. Here’s how we can help.