Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Time To Take God Out Of Abortion Debate?

From our friends at the Save Jersey blog:
By Matthew Steffen |

What are pro-lifers talking about? We sometimes see them holding a sign, a blood saturated doll dangling from a pole or simply standing in solidarity out in front of some abortion, or “planned parenthood” related center.
Earlier this week I was driving by an abortion center featured below and I noticed a pro-lifer holding a sign that read, “BABIES ARE MURDERED HERE.COM.”

south jersey womens center 

So, today I want to discuss how these groups are marketing their Pro-Life stances while examining their tactics and how they can be more effective.
Our journey today starts with Joe, who was the gentleman holding the Pro-Life sign of which I observed. As you drive down Haddonfield Road, it’s easy to notice Joe, as he holds the sign in a non-aggressive manor, simply allowing it to rest in his arms bent at a 45 degree angle as if to say, “I’m here, I’m being peaceful and I have a right to express my opinion.”
When I began speaking with Joe, I could immediately tell he has suffered a long history of abuse as a result of exercising his First Amendment Right. He was slightly stand-offish, and refused at first to give me his full name. However, after only a few seconds, he was very willing to tell me why he was holding this sign and what he hoped to accomplish.
Joe made it very clear to me his first goal is to present additional options to women possibly seeking an abortion.
This was a bit surprising to me, as I had often believed the foremost goal of pro-life advocates was to bring about significant political change while attracting as much public attention as possible to attain that goal. However – not the case.
I was very much reminded of my own goals while holding a weapon on the front lines of Afghanistan. Some might have viewed that as a symbol of uncompromising might; however, I was there to show the Afghans they don’t have to live in fear of being beat, or stolen from by the Taliban. Despite the larger goals of my government – I must admit I nor you are truly privy to – Joe was like me in that he really wants to help people make the best decision for themselves.
Until meeting Joe that day, I personally never realized one abortion can permanently hamper a woman’s ability to have a child.
This is something Joe quickly pointed out to me as he handed me a brochure of local free services. Suddenly in my eyes, he became more of a humanitarian than simply a roadside protester. I also didn’t realize how many free services existed for women not being able to afford a child. I, myself, was abandoned by my biological mother when she had me at 13. I had wondered if somebody like Joe had given her options back then as Joe was doing for women today.
Suddenly I was reminded why I was interviewing Joe. I am a marketer, and I wanted to know how Joe promoted his product (pro-life), while converting leads (pregnant women) into prospects. Then I realized him presenting young females with information on alternatives to abortion was his conversion.
He wasn’t holding some politically motivated petition to erupt change in Washington, nor was he asking for donations to some high wattage lobbyist; instead, he was giving women real options they might not have been aware of.
So, I visited ‘’ (the name on his sign) and it immediately redirected me to a very clever landing page. For you non-marketers, that’s a web page solely and cleverly aimed at getting you to sign up for something.
Here your email is automatically requested to clearly input you into an email marketing list. Now, I’m not going to run down a list of what I know they could be doing better to maximize the scope and effectiveness of their mission; however, I will leave this Pro-Life group with one phenomenal piece of marketing advice that could increase their return of investment by 1000%.
Guess what, I’m in business to make money. Do I tell clients that? Do I tell employees that? Do I post that on our website or even mention it for an article? No. What’s my point? Take religion out of the message.

pro life sign 

For example, “The Gospel” is one of the top navigational menu items on the pro-life’s group website. Why? Let me be frank: A lot of people, especially women considering abortion, do not care, think of, or even believe in God.
And guess what: This is your target audience! You preaching the Bible to seemingly liberal women fearing a baby is just like me preaching capitalism to communists seeking marketing services. The point is, sell them what they need, not what you need.
Take God out of the pro-life message. Yes it motivates you, but not them. When you bring God into the debate, you lose a lot of people’s attention which is necessary to really give them other options besides abortion. Listen, if you are trying to sell people on God – do it. However, if you’re trying to sell people on alternatives to abortion, why in the heck would you mention something that might turn them off?
Yes, I am religious, but I know enough to know that you don’t have to mention ‘God’ to do God’s will. When I do charity, I don’t mention God. When I fed staring Muslims in Afghanistan, I didn’t mention God. And when I go to church, I don’t mention God then either. The bottom line is mentioning God in your message is turning off more people than it’s turning on, so stop it.
Joe had me sold on his message very quickly because he was talking about what is important to me, and the woman I may have accidentally impregnated. He didn’t shove his beliefs down my throat, and that’s why I would have been sold on his message.
Joe understands Rule #1 of marketing which is “Nobody cares about your product, they care about how it can help them.” Focus on the fears and motivations of women seeking an abortion, not yours. As a result, you’ll be doing God’s work, only more efficiently.

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