Learn This Simple Way to Reach Your Fundraising Goals (It’s Easier Than You Think)


Right before Thanksgiving, I was invited for a business lunch in a cozy Alexandria restaurant. It was a rainy Wednesday: the traffic was slow, there was no parking, and I ended up six minutes late. I hate being late, so when I finally parked the car on a street across from the restaurant, I sprinted across huge puddles to the building.

A gentleman, whom I met via LinkedIn, was all-forgiving and accommodating. “Sorry, I always try to be punctual,” I said. “Not to worry, not to worry,” said my host. “Let’s have some food on the table and enjoy conversation.”

Well, the food was fantastic, and the conversation took its fruitful turn – of course, we were talking about fundraising. My counterpart came from another city, but he had incredible experience in business development and fundraising. After we traded stories of good ol’ international experiences we’d had, we transitioned to the realities of fundraising. No one said that it was supposed to be easy. And there is a plenty of stress involved. Yet success is closer than you might think.

What he said was marvelous advice. “When you’re looking into funding sources, be it a foundation or the corporate social responsibility department of a Fortune 500 company, who do you think makes the decision? Is it some amorphous foundation, or is it  people? Of course, it’s people who make that decision for the foundation. It’s actually just one person whom you need to talk to. To be successful, you need to find out exactly what drives this person, and make sure you connect with him on a personal level.”

Simple? Yes, but profound. People make these decisions, and the best way to connect with people is not through email, but in real conversations. Whatever your situation is, I’m going to help you discover how to find your magic source. And the secret is to be razor-blade specific about your concrete target. Let’s see some examples.

Laser-focus your way to success

Squint your eyes and look at your computer screen. Do you see how the picture becomes vague and foggy? Now look at the word “foggy” carefully. Do you see that two letters “g” look like number 9? That’s focus on a specific feature.

That is your first answer – be very specific in what you are trying to do.

Let’s imagine that you’re trying to find partners for your first U.S.-China social engagement project, which helps high school students work together and learn about social engagement and entrepreneurship. Where should you look first if you have no existing partners whatsoever?

You will need to take your magic lens and be very specific. What U.S. and international foundations support social projects for high school students in China? What organizations in the U.S. fund social entrepreneurship programs in Asia? What U.S. companies do business in China and have social engagement as part of their corporate social responsibility ethos? Do these U.S. companies have representative offices in your state? How about a Washington, D.C. or NYC office?

Once you’ve identified these organizations, go ahead and create a list of concrete people in charge of departments responsible for funding these projects. Where do you find these people? After you’ve done your excessive search on Google and Bing, your next step should be LinkedIn. Find out how you are currently connected with these people. Do you have common contacts? Do you play tennis or golf on the same field? Or maybe, they like rumba? Every detail matters.

The best course of action, though, is to find out where these people are going to speak next. Perhaps there will be a conference in your town next week? Or maybe they’ll be attending your favorite trade show? Write down your information and make sure that you have a plan.

What’s next?

Now go and get them.

Find them at these events, and meet them. One well-known networker shared that he has two favorite spots at these conferences, right near the stage when the person is leaving the podium, and the entrance door.

The trick is not to just show how firmly you can shake his hand, or how charming  your smile and your little elevator speech are – those words that she’s going to forget in the next five seconds.

The point is to make her remember you because you care. Show your passionate belief that your non-profit’s expertise is going to make all the difference. The truth is that we are all human, and genuine expression of the simplest idea can become that magic element that delineates success from failure.

So do your super-specific homework.

Google your target organizations. LinkedIn your top target contacts. Bing the next conference or trade show they will attend. Get yourself in front of this person. Perform a wonderful one minute verbal beauty. Believe what you’re saying. Make sure that you get this person’s business card. Shake his hand nicely while looking him straight in the eye. Promise to follow up shortly. Follow up immediately after. Set up a meeting with this person. Write a special handwritten note (not on a CVS card please!). Prepare yourself for the win.

After that you can do your powerful presentation, finalize your impressive sustainable proposal, and request the dollars that you need to make it happen.

I promise you, if you follow this approach regularly, you’re going to build your pipeline so rich and diverse that your rainy day fund will grow like wheat.

P.S. Whatever you do, make sure you follow up.


How I Cooked My First Fish Soup: Secret Ingredients of Creativity


Sea Bass
You know what’s the most important ingredient of fish soup? If you’re curious, you can peek at the end of the article. Otherwise, stick with me for a ride, because we’ll talk about creativity while preparing a nice dinner.

Last Friday I decided to make fish soup. My first fish soup, that is. I went to the local grocery store to pick up my wild caught species of the sea. By the way, you do know that farm raised salmon has an enormous amount of chemicals, don’t you?

The doors of Harris Teeter opened swiftly to offer me some great fresh fish options. My eyes met those of a lonely Sea Bass. He was lying comfortably in a pile of white shining ice, looking at the window with an open mouth and an expression of slight awe, like he could not believe that he’d even been caught.

“Is this Pacific sea bass?” I asked fish store clerk confidently. “Where exactly was it caught?”

He smiled.

“It was caught in the Pacific, but I don’t know where. It’s pretty fresh, look at this,” he pulled the fish out of ice and demonstrated its shiny armor.

“This will make a perfect dinner, my friend.”

“And what about perch?”

Hmm, maybe? Why not? Great idea – the perch is going right into my shopping basket.

The next step is to check what’s happening in the produce section. It excites me as usual. Green peppers, fresh lettuce, mushrooms. Love it.

I’m grabbing cilantro and a bunch of other herbs to make the best of my fish soup. A small bag of yellow Yukon potatoes joins bright orange carrots and all that green in my basket.

I’m out.

Fish Soup: Ingredients for Success

Sea bass – 1 (two will be better!)
Atlantic perch – 1
Potatoes – 1 bag
Carrots – 1 bag
Onions – 2 pcs.
Herbs (cilantro, bay leaves)
Salt and pepper

Color and flavor spur my creative juices.  What does this for you?

How Do You Become Creative?

Creativity is an essential part of any business project. It’s what makes your cell phone not a commodity but an iPhone phenomenon. When you use your creative sense, the stone becomes Michelangelo’s David, and an assortment of paint strokes lives forever in a Picasso masterpiece.

How do you go about creating an idea?

David Murray, the author of the bestselling book “Borrowing Brilliance,” believes that “ideas are constructed out of other ideas, there are no truly original thoughts, you can’t make something out of nothing, you have to make it out of something else.”

In fact, in his book Murray meticulously explores the subject of brilliance and ideas constructed out of existing models.

Murray coined the following six steps of brilliance:

Step 1: DEFINING – Define the problem you’re trying to solve

Step 2: BORROWING – Borrow ideas from places with a similar problem

Step 3: COMBINING – Connect and combine these borrowed ideas

Step 4: INCUBATING – Allow the combinations to incubate into a solution

Step 5: JUDGING – Identify the strength and weakness of the solution

Step 6: ENHANCING – Eliminate the weak points while enhancing the strong ones

Granted, these steps look simple and self-explanatory, but how many of us are consciously following this pattern?

And A Little Bit of American Jazz

A great deal of creativity you can find in American jazz. As Louis Armstrong, the king of improvisation, once noted, “‎We all go Do, Re, Mi, but you’ve gotta find all the other notes yourself.”

Just what exactly is improvisation, and what can you learn from jazz musicians about creativity? Amazing things, especially if you put a few dedicated brains under an MRI and ask them to improvise.

Scientific American published a video of Charles Limb, a hearing and ear surgeon at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in which Limb experiments with jazz musicians Pat Metheny, Mike Pope and Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, while having his brain scanned.

Apparently, according to Wired Magazine, “it turns out that large areas of the brain responsible for monitoring one’s own behavior , are all but shut down, while another small region associated with organizing “self-initiated” thoughts and behavior is highly active.”

That is a very important note to your internal Self Critics. If you want to be creative, shut them down. Find your special moment to just improvise and enjoy your discovery.

Well, shall we go back to my kitchen?

Artemisia Dracunculus or the Art of Last Pinch

Let’s think and apply the Murray principles to my shopping experience.

Fish is your essential idea. You can choose from many, but eventually circle out one or two. Granted, you have the whole range of fish, but your selection criteria helps you to focus on just the right amount of your fish (ideas).

Remember, one of the tricks is to be open to suggestions. I listened to the store clerk’s opinion, and added perch to make it tastier.

When I got to the kitchen and put my beautiful ingredients on display, I had the first Murray’s principle covered. The problem is defined – I need to cook a fish soup.

How do you cook the soup when you never done it before, and my wife is at art class with my daughter?

You are exactly right, YouTube is part of the solution! That’s exactly what borrowing means. To paraphrase Isaac Newton, I was planning to stand on the shoulders of the YouTube giants.

After about 20 minutes of watching fish soup videos ranging from Archbishop’s fish soup to drunken fellows making pike soup boiled my creative juices.

I decided to go to step 3, literally combining and connecting ideas and ingredients.

I placed my sea bass into a bowl of boiling water, adding bay leaves, salt, cilantro, two onions, and a full carrot.

After an hour I sieved my rich fish broth into another bowl and set it to boil. While my ideas were combining together I added potato slices, carrots and the remaining fish into the clear broth for further incubation.

This brought me to the final two steps, judging and enhancing. I wanted to have a particular aroma for my fish soup and went back to my grocery bag to dig out that secret ingredient which made it all happen.

What I needed was a piece of Artemisia dracunculus, or simply Tarragon.

Tarragon made me happy. And the soup was fabulous. Try it yourself today.

And don’t forget to improvise.

Bon Appetit!

Beating a Bad Economy: Successful Selling in the Worst of Times


So what do we have on our plate in 2014, ladies and gentlemen? Economic slowdown, household debt, and national debt continue to climb. The government can’t agree on terms. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecast, the U.S. economy in 2014 will remain flat, while unemployment rates will be near eight percent.

What does this say to you? Yes, the economy goes in cycles. Yes, we need to look on the bright side.

Yet if you don’t have a buck in your wallet, no one is bringing it in on a silver platter.

You’ve got to think for yourself. Back to basics. Luckily, there are tools that never rust. Be it depression, slowdown, or bubble bursts, these time-proven skills withstand the pressure of time.

In any economy you will need to nurture these three elements of success:

1. Your Attitude

2. Grow and Maintain Your Business Network

3. Sell/Promote/Market Your Services by Going Back to Basics (yes, cold calls still work!)

As Stephen Schiffman, author of the bestseller “Selling When No One’s Buying,” notes, “there’s no magic formula for selling in a bad economy. You can’t just sell harder or sell more.”

What you need to do is to pay closer attention to what’s going on with your clients. Create a special file to record information from business and analytical publications. Meet your best accounts personally much more often. Maintain and grow your business network, like never before.

But what about the first thing that your customer sees or hears? Your attitude is the first key to your success. When you write your email, when you pick up the phone, or when you shake the hand of a new prospect, you need to exude optimism. It’s contagious.

And how about your personal business plan? Schiffman suggests to think about your own “Me Corporation” business plan. Because any plan starts with a vision. Make a list of 3 to 5 business goals with actionable steps and deadlines. We hear about SMART goals all the time, but when I applied these to my own situation, I found I’d often forget about them.

Another important point that Schiffman makes is to stop continuing your “default” way of doing business.  This “automate” button that we all follow leads us to habitual nothing. Why don’t you stop and re-assess your skills one day? Do a complete overhaul of your business skills. Do you use social media for business development? Do you effectively use your networking time? Should you work on improving your business writing?

Think about what works and what doesn’t. Try one or two new approaches, and see if they work. Look for creative ideas, things that you’ve never done before.

Another important area where you can excel like no one else is to rethink your existing relationships with your clients. Are you seen as a trusted advisor, or just as another vendor or sales person?

As Schiffman points out, assess your top ten accounts, analyze their current challenges and needs, and come up with a creative solution which may cost you a little extra but will bring appreciation from your client.

You will also earn points by asking your current contacts for their ideas to fight the downturn. Listen carefully to your contact. Listening is the rarest quality in the modern workforce. Apart from learning new information about your account, you will also create positive impressions from your contact.

Make a habit of noting why the product or service you provide is essential to your customer. Make sure that you identify the features of your product that go above and beyond. Follow through is key.

When you get back to your sales basics, you can’t avoid looking at the ways you approach business development. Do you do regular cold calls? Or do you actively network and build your customer base on a referral basis?

However much everyone hates cold calls, they do work. Personally, I prefer to have a mix of activities, but I never write off cold calls as useless. Cold calls are like your favorite shoeshiner. Yes, it may look outdated and weird to perch up there on your seat with the “New York Times” in hand above a hard-working shoe shining professional. However, in the end your shoes shine like never before, and the shoeshiner is happy with his tip.

Similarly, there is nothing like having a pipeline full with new prospects every day, every week, every month. Without actively approaching your development activities, you will never achieve your ambitious goals, especially in this economy.

“It is more important than ever that you stick to the proven basics,” adds Schiffman.

His cold call rules include:

1. Not Making Cold Calls Will Leave You Dead in the Water

The hardest thing is…to pick up the phone and call your list. Do it every day for 30 days straight, and see what happens.

2. You Will Have To Do Much More Preparation Than You Did Previously

Preparation makes all the difference. Do you happen to know your account’s birthday? Did you notice a new product line on your best buyer’s line? Make sure that you mention this in your conversation. Nonchalantly and with respect.

3. Be Positive!

What’s on your mind? Your wife is about to deliver your first baby? Or the plumber did a lousy job in your favorite bathroom? Remember that the person on the other end of the line might have her own problems as well. Your best approach is to find a way to keep yourself optimistic, even when it’s tough. Keep your grandma’s brownies on hand, maybe. Whatever is that makes you happy, use it.

4. On the Subject of Respond in Kind: People Respond Not Only in Terms of The Tone of The Conversation, But Directly to The Questions Being Asked

While you need to engage your counterpart in a meaningful conversation, you must stay focused on your goal. What’s your goal? Sell? Then, sell.

5. You’re Only Fooling Yourself

If you’re looking how to quit your cold call slavery and find reasons to gulp another gallon of coffee, or check yet another Facebook activity update from your best friend, then you are only fooling yourself. Make your 5-10-20 calls that you set as your goal. You’re an inch close to your success!

6. More Than Ever It’s Important to Be Prepared for Objections

Yes, the man on the other line is tough. He has to be. Are you prepared to take his objections seriously? Do you have a smart way to counterattack? Overprepare for the toughest calls.

Try it out. Tomorrow.

“Please Do Not Search For Jump Square”: How Dentsu Created a Buzz and What Your Business Can Learn From It



It all began with a mysterious commercial shown on late-night TV all over Japan. TV viewers saw the words “Jump Square” crossed out on the screen with a voice-over announcing the upcoming release of the inaugural issue of the Jump Square manga magazine. Yet, the viewers were specifically warned not to search for Jump Start on the Internet.[1]

What did people do?  Of course, puzzled viewers flocked to the official site (which had been open since August 2007). Yet to everyone’s surprise, they couldn’t find it anymore. It was closed. Instead, there was a skimpy text-only message apologizing for any inconvenience…

This can’t be true, proclaimed the hardcore manga fans, and they remained on the site, trying to find the key to this puzzle. After about 20 seconds they were rewarded for their persistence by seeing amusing animated Jump Square manga characters tearing down the wall of the announcement and crawling around the site.

That wasn’t all.  The mystery continued. When they entered the words “Jump Square” into the site’s search box, stunned fans saw a message that implored them to “Please Search for Something Else.” But how can you stop when you are already charged up? Some fans continued angrily banging out the words “Jump Square” on their keyboards a few more times.

Persistence pays…  Only when the word was entered three times did surprised viewers finally see…

How to Outlast a Gold Fish

Have you ever forgotten your birthday? Yes? No? According to the Associated Press, seven percent of people forget their own birthdays from time to time. Our attention span is shrinking like old leather. With a current attention span of 5 seconds, we have dropped below the average for … a gold fish! …which boasts a 9-second span. Wow.

Consider the other side. These days, small businesses would do anything to get your attention. Today attention means business. Of course, if you are small business owner, or a start-up that’s trying to bootstrap itself, you need to be creative. So what do you do to grab people?

Perhaps, you may consider listening to good ol’ Jerry Seinfield, who noted on this topic:

“There is no such thing as an attention span. There is only the quality of what you are viewing. This whole idea of an attention span is, I think, a misnomer. People have an infinite attention span if you are entertaining them.”

Ask yourself, are you entertaining people with your offering, be it digital content, creative product or advertisement? Are you making history with a viral video or innovative promotion?

For a while advertisers successfully used “AIDA” formula, which means “Attention, Interest, Desire, Action,” and it still works just fine. However, in Japan, where the competition for digitally active young generation of Japanese is higher than ever, advertisers are being driven, incentivized, to replace aggressive advertisement with innovative forms.

As Kotaru Sugiyama and Tim Andree, authors of “The Dentsu Way: Secrets of Cross Switch Marketing from the World’s Most Innovative Advertising Agency” shared in their fantastic book, back in 2004 Dentsu, one of the world’s leading advertising firms, came up with its own set of marketing tools, changing AIDA to AISAS, which stands for Attention, Interest, Search, Action and Share.

Dentsu realized that the main challenge, given the sheer volume of information and consumers’ willingness to seek out products independently, is to create an attractive offer so that consumers are moved by choice. Dentsu figured that consumers wanted to search for things independently, and then share what they found with their circle of friends. By giving people a choice, Dentsu created trust, which eventually transformed to Action.

The company believes that “the point is that it is no longer enough to simply use multiple forms of media to deliver the same message or campaign over and over. It’s easy for consumers to filter that out, and likewise, it fails to take advantage of the power of some forms of media, especially digital media.”

“We Are No Match for Your Enthusiasm and Determination”

On November 2007 Dentsu helped to launch the first issue of Shueisha Inc.’s monthly manga anthology Jump Square in a remarkable way, connecting with customers via Internet, TV commercials, public ads on major transportation routes.

So those persistent fans who typed in the search box at least three times?  They saw this message: “We give up. We are just no match for your enthusiasm and determination.”  The craving fans were directed to Jump Square’s mobile site (which was the company’s next target). There they found a preview of a manga, hidden before its publication date. Naturally, fans spread the word to all their friends, showing off their detective skills.

Yet the marketers had more up their sleeves.

The final circle of craze was orchestrated in the Tokyo metro. The Yamanote Line that encircles metropolitan Tokyo become the venue for “manga relay,” where the mobile site viewers were sent to read one of the stories from the Jump Square series. With one caveat – they needed to step off at each station indicated on a mobile map to read the full story. This “manga hunt” became the crown jewel of an already extremely successful campaign with hundreds of fans texting their impressions to friends and colleagues.

Wonder about the results of this campaign? The series sold out in a few days with a total of 600,000 copies sold. This was a fantastic example of Dentsu’s Cross Communication that uses multiple media to “actively involve consumers and stimulate behavior.”

Dentsu’s infamous “Cross Switch” approach includes multiple strategies, tactics, and tools – “to get through barriers put up by the consumer and maximize the results of a marketing campaign, especially the search, the action, and the sharing that consumers will do if they really respond to the campaign – that is if their switch is flipped. Once that switch is flipped, consumer engagement and purchase action increase dramatically.”

How can you use these practices in your own business or a new campaign? You can follow the Dentsu Ten Principles for Success in Cross Communication identified in the book:

The Ten Principles for Success in Cross Communication:

1. Think carefully, from the individual consumer’s perspective

Create ideas from clients’ perspective – what does he want? How will she behave? What does he feel? Makes sure that you create clear image of customers’ actions.

2. Create new ideas. Have the courage to say, “If it isn’t new, it isn’t Cross Communication”

Finding a new angle is not easy, but companies must approach each campaign differently.  Never repeat your campaigns. Your campaign should be able to stand-out.

3. Gather diverse team members, and actively “encroach on airspace”

Invite a diverse team of experts from different fields to discuss your project. Encourage to share and reflect on various ideas. Wait for “chemical reaction” and “a-ha moment” to happen shortly.

4. Continue to share the goal among the entire team throughout the planning process

Make sure that you are transparent with your entire team. Each member of your team should be constantly aware on what’s happening with your process.

5. Make it easy to explain

Simplicity always wins – ensure that your ideas are understood.

6. Always maintain an image of the scale of communication

“Cross Communication is defined as both breadth and depth.” While breadth relates to a number, depth identifies the quality of interaction. Both should have your equal attention.

7. Be persistent in negotiations, and don’t give up until the plan becomes reality

“Campaigns only have value when the idea becomes a reality.” Think Hollywood producer. Work persistently across the teams to make it happen.

8. Reexamine the plan once more, to ensure that it truly solves the issue at hand

Check your scenario and make sure that it creates the right solution.

9. Thoroughly review the campaign, and tie this into the next campaign

Good analysis helps to cement better future. Identify the challenges, create patches, make sure that you fix them in the next campaign.

10. Have fun with Cross Communication

Be truly open to new endeavors, create interesting content. Relax. Think. Enjoy.

[1] The example cited in this blog post is featured as a case study in The Dentsu Way by Kotaru Sugiyama and Tim Andree, McGraw Hill, 2011.
Cover image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jump_Square

The Best Advertisement I’ve Ever Seen


When you look at all these sophisticated, huge budget ads on TV, you may think how in the world my small business can compete with these giants? I don’t have millions to spend on sassy  Super Bowl ads. I don’t have a video crew to follow me to the Mount Fuji. I just have my flip camera and a computer. Do I even have a chance?

Yes, you do. When I saw this video of people feeding hummingbirds from the palms of their hands, I was so captivated that I only noticed in the very end that this was actually a promotional video for Saltery Lodge in Alaska.

Clearly, the authors of this video used the most effective advertisement tool there is – original content with a human touch. Try to imitate this approach in your next video – find something truly unique in your area. It doesn’t have to be hummingbirds or Birds of Paradise, just find an angle that will resonate with your readers or clients.

Don’t be discouraged by your competition – find your own angle. Feed your own “hummingbird” ideas with your own creative juices.


“If you’re not …


“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”
― Woody Allen

Willy Wonka’s Secrets for Your Next Business Ad



You can learn amazing things from children’s books. Take famous Willy Wonka by Roald Dahl, for example. The Golden Ticket, a promise, a delight that will make you happy. Isn’t it how advertisement works?

I marveled over the text printed on the Golden Ticket itself. It is a perfect direct mail letter, and one can just modify and use it for one’s own campaign. Let’s analyze it:

“Greetings to you, the lucky finder of this Golden Ticket, from Mr Willy Wonka! I shake you warmly by the hand!” (Warm introduction by the product developer who brings a sought-after product to the market. It could be your next iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. Isn’t that how Tim Cook, Apple CEO, presented the iPad Air? Check this CNet video on iPad Air)

“Tremendous things are in store for you! Many wonderful surprises await you!” (Apple again is a great example. Advertising has equated the Apple brand with pure happiness and self-fulfillment. Or, Willy Wonka just as easily be peddling Louis Vitton handbags.)

“For now, I do invite you to come to my factory and be my guest for one whole day – you and all others who are lucky enough to find my Golden Tickets.” (This is an invitation-only event! You are special. It’s YOU who we care about the most!)

“I, Willy Wonka” (or Tim Cook, Anthony Robbins, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, add your own celebrity), “will conduct you around the factory myself, showing you everything that there is to see, and afterwards, when it is time to leave, you will be escorted home by a procession of large trucks. These trucks, I can promise you, will be loaded with enough delivious eatables to last you and your entire household for many years. If, at any time thereafter, you should run out of supplies, you have only to come back to the factory and show this Golden Ticket, and I shall be happy to refill your cupboard with whatever you want. In this way, you will be able to keep yourself supplied with tasy morsels for the rest of your life.” (Wow! You don’t need to work anymore!)

“But this is by no means the most exciting thing that will happen on the day of your visit.” (An even bigger PROMISE here. Wouldn’t you want to just peek what’s in there?)

“I am preparing other surprises that are even more marvellous and even more fantastic for you and for all my beloved Golden Ticket holders – mystic and marvelous surprises that will entice, delight, intrigue, astonish and perplex you beyond measure.” (This is a great selection of attention-grabbing verbs! Are you intrigued?)

“In your wildest dreams you could not imagine such things could happen to you! Just wait and see!” (More emphasis to keep you hooked.)

“And now, here are your instructions: the day I have chosen for the visit is the first day of the month of February. On this day, and on no other, you must come to the factory gates at ten o’clock sharp in the morning. Don’t be late! And you are allowed to bring with you either one or two members of your own family to ensure that you don’t get into mischief. One more thing – be certain to have this ticket with you, otherwise you will not be admitted.” (This is a 100% money return guarantee — what you usually see at the P.S. or P.P.S. line.)

Humans need miracles and adventures, which is why Willy Wonka’s promise entices us so much.  Money isn’t everything – sometimes the lure of an experience is much more powerful. Hope that this can inspire your next mail campaign. Oh, and one more thing, do you have your Golden Ticket?