In “Always Be Testing”, Bryan Eisenberg discusses the importance of scent. When you communicate with a given constituent and want them to complete a certain action, you are asking them to follow a trail.
For example, maybe the constituent receives a direct mail piece that directs them to visit a certain web page. That web page asks them to consider donating to a particular campaign. This leads them to an online form to complete their gift.
To ensure the constituent does not “lose the scent” and get “lost”, each of these steps must maintain the “scent”. This is done by ensuring continuity of your message, design and images across every step. The email should have the same look and feel as the web page which should have the same look and feel as the online giving form. Failure to maintain scent will result in lost conversions (or more specifically lost donors or event attendees).
Don’t make your constituent’s think. Make it as easy as possible by putting them in familiar surroundings and directing them through each step of the process you want them to take. Have you ever clicked on a display ad that brings you to a page that looks exactly like the ad did? That is an example of maintaining "scent".