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The 4-Letter Word Your Website Must Have

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

Your website must have a 4-letter word.

The 4-letter word your website must have with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter

That got your attention, didn’t it?

But please don't think I'm advocating profanity.

I’m talking about the little 4-letter word join.

It’s just an everyday, garden-variety verb – one that’s easy to overlook or not even use in copy. Don’t make that mistake. There’s tremendous power in subtlety.

Join implies an underlying sense of community. When you’re invited to join, you’re asked to do life with others. That feels good! These days, the internet, email, and social media make online community possible. Readers like to feel part of a larger whole.

This innocuous command oozes power because it indicates exclusivity. To join anything, you must be invited and go through a process to take part. For example –

  • You join a country club.
  • You join a fraternity.
  • You join a weekend cycling club.

So when you ask readers to join you in specific online activities, you elevate your value in their eyes. Readers like to feel special. You know they are. They want to be a part of a community. You want them in yours. An invitation to join is win-win.

Ways to inject this four-letter word into your content

  • Use join to get subscribers. Your website must have a way to invite readers to join your email list so they receive regular news and updates about your activities and stay up-to-date with the latest happenings. Online marketers know that a house email list is promotional gold. But a reader must give permission (“opt in”) for you to add their address to your list.
  • Use join to enlist volunteers. Your website must have a way to ask readers to join your team. People like being part of a bigger whole. List ways they can participate. Be specific – “Join our after school tutoring team – volunteer just 2 hours a month” works better than “Join our volunteer pool.”
  • Use join to recruit fans for your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter. “Join our Facebook community and ask your friends to join too.” Post updates daily or weekly. Watch your page go viral as your fans recruit more fans for you. Tweet often to stay in front of your followers.
  • Use join to make a case for support. People don’t want you to think of them as checkbooks. They want to connect with other like-minded individuals focused on a cause. Invite readers to join your annual membership drive … join your growing number of supporters … join your inner circle of special friends.

When you have a fantastic cause, maintain a regularly- updated website, send engaging email messages, and stay connected on social networking sites, then readers will want to join you.

Go ahead. Ask them. Often.

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