Your phone chimes, alerting you to a new email. You quickly discover it’s from a former coworker and read the first few lines: “I am participating in a fundraiser for [insert cause]. Will you donate?” Though you don’t delete the email immediately, you close the message because you know its exact purpose: to get you to donate. You’ll think about it, or, more likely, you’ll start thinking of rational-sounding reasons not to contribute.
Imagine, instead, if you open the email and you’re greeted with the following introduction: “June 5th started off like any other day, but it ended with a life-changing diagnosis.” ‘Whoa, where is this going?’ you think. As you continue reading, you learn that your former coworker is fighting a serious illness and is raising money for the cause. You reach for your wallet, inspired to support an old colleague.
What exactly was the difference between the two messages?