You’re excited about your association or cause, and keen to share your pride in the good work it has accomplished? Great! But those
success stories may not be winning all the support you’d like, if your
words are missing the mark.
Is your organization speaking to your website visitors… or at
Yes, sometimes you may genuinely need to let supporters know
what’s going on behind the scenes of your non-profit’s boardroom or
website, but gauge it carefully…
There’s a very fine line between
informing a committed supporter of news from within your organization,
and turning off a potential new supporter with too much inward focus.
“If I can’t find the WIIFM [What’s In It For Me?] in the first 30
seconds,” Jeff Hurt has commented,
“I’m gone to another site.” And another marketing acronym that’s
particularly important for nonprofit websites: DIMTY — Do I Matter
To You? “I’m looking for WIIFM & DIMTY on your website quickly.
Not only do you need to help me find what I’m looking for quickly, but
you must also show me that you actually care about me the visitor to
Have you measured your message for "customer focus"?
The “We We” Calculator (or
Customer Focus Calculator, if you prefer) is a free online tool designed to
help you check that your copy is on track to deliver that all-essential WIIFM and DIMTY to your readers — at least as far as your word choice is concerned. Here’s how the creators at FutureNow, Inc., explain it:
[W]e parse your page for self-focused words such as “I,” “we,”
“our,” and your company name (which functions much like “we”), as well
as for customer-focused words such as “you” and “your.” Then we
calculate several ratios that indicate whether your visitors are likely
to perceive you as genuinely focused on them. The most important is the
customer focus ratio (CFR). That’s the ratio of customer-focused words
to self-focused words.
Try the calculator here
— just enter your web page URL and put in your organization’s name
where it asks for your company.
Or, if you’d prefer to check a piece of text before it goes public —
your draft newsletter or fundraising copy, perhaps — go here, copy-paste your
text into the box, and again add the name of your organization.
As you use it, keep in mind this is nothing more than a handy, but
rough guide that will help you focus on something important. There are
lots of variables and also remember there are no shortcuts to writing
… If you do want a rough guideline, there seems to be a clear
difference between sites with CFRs of 60 percent and higher, and sites
with CFRs below 60 percent.
As the creators of the We-We Calculator do emphasize, it’s a rough
tool that gives a rough estimate. And in the case of member-based
organizations, the numbers may tend to be rougher yet.
Nonprofits and associations tend to use inclusive language (“we” is
just as likely to mean “you and I, in this thing together” as “we, the
mighty organization”) so it’s going to skew the numbers in a tool
designed, obviously, for checking sales copy and corporate web content.
Blogs, too, may produce off results as they tend to use a less
formal, more conversational tone and bloggers will very often use
personal anecdotes to illustrate a point — much less likely to be seen
in “corporate” web content.
Still, any tool that encourages taking a second more critical look at
our written communications is well worth a try, if only for the fresh
perspective! And for double-checking the tone of your newsletters,
fundraising appeals, and static web content, in particular, the We-We
Calculator could be a useful tool for fine-tuning the tone of your
What do you think — does the We-We Calculator prompt a
closer look at how your message is presented? What is your website’s