Easy things make brains happy.  Happy brains do the things we ask them to (like donate).  The easier something is, the more it convinces.  Simple stocks go up more; simple named people become president.

We often forget this. So here’s a simple post about keeping it simple. (The hard data are in links.)

Easy = True

Image credit: Boston Globe

Easy things

Things in threes.  I came, I saw, I conquered. Blood, sweat, and tears.  (Churchill actually said “blood, toil, sweat, and tears,” but we like things in threes).  Options in threes are also good.  People take the one in the middle.  Goldilocks is your donor: not too much, not too little, just right.

Repeating things. Seeing things once makes you like seeing things again.  Three times is even better.  Even if it’s nonsense, you like it because you’ve seen it.  That’s why good copy repeats.

Simple fonts.  Reading Arial makes you think something is easy to do.  Script fonts make it seem hard.  Reminder: easy things make brains happy and want to donate.

Repeating things. Repeating things helps with memory.  Being in memory is good.

Building to your ask. Small steps like email petitions increase donations. It’s called getting your foot in the door, like a door-to-door salesperson.

Doing what others do. Knowing others gave means you’ll probably give.  Following others is easy.

Repeating things.  You knew we’d try this joke again, right?

Short sentences. Fragments even. Your English teacher may disagree.  If s/he wants a say, s/he needs to donate.

Pictures. They are better than a thousand words. Pictures makes words easier to believe.

Especially if it’s someone trustworthy. Image credit: USA Today

Hard things you should stop

Acronyms and initializations. You talk about your KPIs or LMICs; donors say WTF and STFU.

Long words that don’t need to be. Are people malnourished and underprivileged? Or are they hungry and poor? Things aren’t challenging. Or suboptimal.  They are bad.  People will get these words most of the time.  They aren’t idiots.  But it slows their brain. And a fast, easy brain is a happy, donating brain.

Font colors similar to the background.  Black on White is easy.  White on black is not and words superimposed in images mentally merge with the image. And don’t do this.

Saying people aren’t doing something.  This is negative social proof.  We talked about it here

…but it bears repeating.


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