If you go to the iTunes store homepage, you’ll see a box from the Red Cross encouraging you to give in support of Hurricane Sandy victims. With the click of a button, iTunes will transfer 100% of the funds to the American Red Cross. Just select the button listing your desired gift and you’re done. This isn’t anything new—the Red Cross has worked with iTunes multiple times in the past, raising money to support victims of the 2010 Haitian earthquake and those devastated last year by the tsunami that struck Japan.

The Red Cross has partnered with iTunes to do something remarkably simple and effective, and it’s rooted in principles that all nonprofits (and for profits) could utilize:

1. They’ve made it simple for potential customers to interact with them.

In this case, the customer is a donor, but the same principle applies. One of the first things I learned when studying advertising in college is that consumers like hassle-free experiences. People have a lot of choices available, so the easier the experience, the better.

2. They reach customers at the Point of Sale.

Many people visit the iTunes store with the intent of spending money on music. And by partnering with iTunes, the Red Cross is essentially saying, “We know you’re already planning to spend money on music, so why not give some of it to help people in need?” They’re fitting into their potential customers’ existing frame of mind. For profit companies do something similar all the time: sales people know it by the term up-selling. It’s must easier to sell something extra if the customer is already planning to spend money.

The American Red Cross is just one example of an organization that has simplified the consumer experience. What are some companies you think have made it easy to use their products or services?

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