When It Pays to Join the Bandwagon

If you pay attention, you’ll see cause marketing everywhere.

That’s good news if you want to write for this market. Few writers have cashed in on this opportunity, though businesses everywhere are doing it.

Take last Wednesday, for example. I hit up the Starbucks drive-through on my way to the dentist. They had a black chalkboard propped up by the menu:

“Celebrate Labor Day with our Indivisible Blend! Buy a pound, create a job! $14.95/lb.”

I was intrigued. Fifteen bucks for a new job? I made a mental note to find out more.

Ten minutes later, in the fish-tank filled waiting room of my dentist, I turned on my phone to check Facebook.

Southwest Airlines had a post showing a bright-eyed 12-year-old girl with a broad smile. The sign in her hands said, “I am Kait. I am brave. I beat cancer. I am loved.”

Minutes later, I was ushered to the exam room. I thumbed through Redbook while I waited. Eleven pages in was an ad for Lee Slender Secret Jeans. Next to the saucy, jean-clad model was a pink ribbon graphic. The fine print said “Lee National Denim Day.”

I flipped a few more pages and found a second full-page ad from Lee. But there weren’t any models wearing slender jeans. Instead, there was a content-looking, middle-aged woman with her arms crossed and a blue bandana on head. Her husband and daughters smiled in the background.

The fine print said: “You don’t fight breast cancer with a pink ribbon alone. You fight it with a team.”

Below that, next to an American Cancer Society logo, it read: “Together we can rise above breast cancer. Join our team by donating $5 at denimday.com and wearing your jeans during October.”

Why Is This Relevant to Writers?

Because without us, these messages get lost in the noise.

Take the blackboard message from Starbucks. If you do an Internet search for “Starbucks buy a pound make a job,” you get a bunch of hits.

Click on a few of them and you’re taken to blog posts and web content that explains the program. It’s a partnership with Opportunity Finance Network to prompt donations that fund the CreateJobsForUSA.com program. The goal is to help get Americans back to work.

It’s a classic campaign that makes full use of web-writing skills — SEO, landing pages, content creation, and even email alerts.

Now consider the Southwest Airlines campaign. It’s part of an extensive grant program that works with multiple charities to get kids necessary medical treatment and fly them and their caregivers to treatment centers, all for free.

It’s an ideal project for an online copywriter who can craft content-supported social media posts.

The Redbook ad for the Lee National Denim Day is part of an enormous print outreach that gets echoed on the Web. That means they need copy, copy, and more copy.

I see cause marketing in daily Facebook ads. It shows up in my mailbox. It’s on marquee signs I pass on the street, and by the cash registers at virtually every store I visit.

Heck, even some of your existing clients may be part of cause-related campaigns — or they’re looking to start one.

Because remember, it’s a triple-win. Nonprofits do it for survival. Businesses do it because customers love companies with heart. Buyers benefit because their money works harder — purchasing things they need or want and supporting good causes.

Plus, research shows people consistently choose brands that support a cause over ones that don’t.

And that’s where you come in. It’s a whole new ballgame, and not a lot of writers understand what should (and shouldn’t) be said in the marketing of a good cause.

That’s what makes it an ideal opportunity for copywriters. Take what you already know about communicating and combine it with specific cause-related writing techniques, and you’ll have a unique, in-demand service you can offer to clients in this growing niche.

I’ve enjoyed being part of this field for a while now. Click here to find out how you can join me.

What’s your opinion of cause marketing? Is it a field you’d like to be part of? Do me a favor and tell me why.

Copywriting for a Cause

Copywriting for a Cause: How to Profit as a Writer and Make a Difference in the World

In today’s market, consumers expect businesses to do well while doing good. They want companies to be good citizens. That means businesses need copywriters who understand how to write for a cause. Learn More »


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Published: September 11, 2012

4 Responses to “When It Pays to Join the Bandwagon”

  1. Hi Mindy. I am interested in writing for a cause because I see so many people in need. I am involved with an organization called Coalition of Concerned Medical Providers that negotiates free health care for people in need. Problem is this organization is run strictly on volunteerism. They do not have nor do they want government involvement. This places some restrictions on raising funds. Many donors want the tax credit. I would love to do copy to raise funds for this organization. Any suggestions?

    Lorna BarnettSeptember 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm

  2. Thank you for contributing this article.

    I really enjoyed reading it.

    In our time, we have seen how Wall Street has superseded Main Street.

    That is why the common man is sick and tired of being given the boot.

    There have been scams galore and pick-up artists have been laughing all the way to the bank.

    Insider trading and the old boy's network have led to cronyism and corruption.

    The ego-driven pursuit of profits at any cost has led to greed and selfishness.

    A society is humane only when it believes in the common weal.

    That is why we have lost the plot and why cause related marketing is the wave of the future.

    Archan MehtaSeptember 11, 2012 at 9:28 pm

  3. Mindy, I was so excited to see the first Cause Marketing e-mail yesterday that I hit the savings account and signed up within half an hour! Bet I was one of the first! Why? What I am going to learn is going to be so important to me when I launch this year. My niche? Writing for non-profits (I have the course) with grant writing (that one, too), which gives me additional insight into what's important to non-profits. And now - Cause Marketing! I'll be ready!
    Thank you!!

    JudyB-RaleighSeptember 12, 2012 at 9:40 am

  4. I'd like to add a bit to my earlier comment. My late father worked for the UN World Health Organization - he had a passion for helping people that took us around the world in some challenging circumstances. The profit was seeing villages with clean water, better health. I worked for the World Wildlife Fund and the UN and now in community development. My niche? Non-profits. My passion? Wildlife conservation. Cause Marketing will help me to realize my dream of doing something about it.

    JudyB-RaleighSeptember 12, 2012 at 10:46 am


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