Persuasive Elements in Bernie’s Fundraising

I received a fundraising email last week from Bernie Sanders campaign. (Screenshot below.)

The email itself asked Bernie supporters to follow a link a form, where you could mark which campaign issues mattered to you, the voter.

Everyone likes to be consulted and have their opinion heard—especially if you’ve self-selected as a supporter to get on this list. I would bet the survey link was pretty busy!


At the top, there was a large list of progressive political causes, ideas to reshape society, digs at successful people, reminders of historical divisions, and other hot-button issues that fire up the base.

Pick Three!

The second question is great:

Do you understand that the groups we are taking on have unlimited sums of money and will do whatever it takes to stop our campaign?

Here’s why it’s such a good question:

  • Do you understand: The conclusion is stated as a fact. Either you understand it or you don’t.
  • Groups we are taking on: Those scary unnamed groups are whatever the survey taker imagines. Vague is helpful.
  • Unlimited sums of money: Visual, like a mountain of cash, and fear inducing. Puts us at the disadvantage. Everyone wants to support the underdog.
  • Whatever it takes: Sounds dark and evil and nearly unstoppable.
  • Our campaign: You, survey taker, are a part of this campaign.

Very well written, Bernie!

And then the third question… required if you want to submit the survey… asks how much money you want to donate. It offers specific, non-round, odd numbers ($3 and $27). Human brains love those, they evoke curiosity and tickle our dopamine a bit.

Overall, a persuasive survey to raise money for Bernie Sanders’ 2020 run against… groups with unlimited sums of money.