Imagine getting an email from email@example.com? What would you immediately infer about this person?
Ok, spam and X-rated content but after that, what does this vanity email purposefully chosen say about the person? An email address is the tiniest snippet of a window into a person in the digital world. No picture, no interaction, no other details.
We infer a lot about folks and their personality based on first impressions and those tend to be sticky. And, we don’t need to physically meet, see or even interact with a person for those first impressions to start forming.
A study with German researchers, Back (whose email is the honey.bunny one), Schmukle and Egloff, compared personality assessments made by strangers based on nothing but personal email address to the actual, self-measured personality of the email address owner.
The researchers asked and answered two questions.
- Do multiple strangers agree on their assessment of a person’s personality relying only on email address? Answer: Yes.
- Are the stranger’s correct? Answer: Yes.
To be sure, it ain’t a super high correlation between actual personality and that surmised based only an email address. But, it’s statistically significant, which means there is something here, it ain’t chance. We can accurately glean a glimpse of who a person is based on the slimmest of digital detail.
What the hell does this have to do with fundraising? Look at me. Seriously, check this out.
This is my LinkedIn profile and a 3rd party app on the right giving guidance on how to engage with me. It includes prescriptive suggestions on email content and format to best match who I am on the inside, my Personality, which is the Big Five/OCEAN chart at the bottom part of the app screen.
The app infers my Personality based on the bazillion details I’ve unknowingly and knowingly shared, including but going well beyond my email address.
Why does this app exist and why does it have tons of VC money behind it?
Say what you want about VC, they ain’t dumb. They believe helping salespeople do personalized matching to adjust content and format to a person’s Personality is valuable. Why? It will increase salesperson effectiveness and sales.
We at DonorVoice believe helping fundraisers do personalized matching to adjust content and format to a person’s Personality is valuable. Why? it will increase the fundraisers effectiveness and giving.
P.S. And we use 128, third party attributes to tag your file with Personality Tags, which is our mass-market, fundraising version of this cool, LinkedIn app.