The Fission Five Way Test

With the onslaught of emails, status updates, and tweets accessible to people online every minute of every day, how does your organization make its message and content stand out? We’re always looking for innovative ways to get people to see your content and take more action, both online and offline.

If your organization has an email list, can help you find out what your supporters are talking about on social media. After you track keywords your customers use (to know what’s on their mind) and see what’s trending, you can more effectively create messaging that resonates with what people are thinking about.

Our sister-company, Fission, uses a Five Way Test to help ensure that they’re producing effective and engaging content. This test utilizes a series of questions that will help you and your organization make sure supporters will interact with an email, social media post, story, or anything else!

1. Would I open this if I saw it in my inbox or newsfeed? First impressions are critical. If people are not drawn in or excited about your message from the beginning, the chances of them converting clicks into actions are minimal. Engage and intrigue the consumer right away with a captivating subject or headline. One way to do this is by utilizing the model that the folks at Upworthy use: don’t give everything away when writing headlines and teasers!

2. Would I keep reading after the first sentence? Once you have them at least open to the content at hand, you need to make sure there is a strong hook in the first sentence. You want this to be interesting enough that people feel the need to continue reading to learn more.

3. Is there an image that makes me want to act? Images are the most effective and efficient way of telling a story and conveying a message. Make sure to include quality images when possible as a means of making content more appealing and meaningful

4. Would I take the action this is requesting? Consider whether what you are proposing is compelling enough that you would take the action, despite being a busy person. Also make sure that the content appropriately conveys the necessity for action; this is key in turning a message into action.

5. Would I share this with at least one other person? People are more likely to listen to individuals they know or are connected to than an unknown organization. You want people to invest their voice in spreading your message in order to reach a wider audience. If it is not worth sharing, how will others hear the call to action?

It takes time to make sure that content is ready to reach the masses or your donor list. By asking yourself these five questions before sending an email or publishing content, you will be taking the next steps toward engaging people and inciting action!

Adapted from a blog post on