I would love to see an A/B test for this. Personally, I think your copy revision isn't that engaging as well, it kind of feels like a sales pitch. To me, it feels like the person who wrote it doesn't give any specific reason to why he would need my support, like he's just in to make some more money. The original copy made it feel personal and connected me with the people behind the show. Because it was told from their perspective, it created a sense of empathy with me. I also thought that they addressed the audience plenty of times.
Or maybe that's just me :)
I agree. The "What if there weren't more episodes" angle is really pitchy. I think public radio's pitches have a lighter touch.
I'm not really bothered by the "we need this money" angle they went with. (I might be biased -- I heard the plea on the podcast first, and ended up donating without really reading the site's pitch.) But I do agree that the best pitches involve selling the product, not selling the circumstances.
My angle, if I were writing this pitch, would be focused on "we're going to make a season 2, and if we have your support, this is how great it'll be." Focus on the positiveness of the upside.
In my experience, you have to be very direct with your pitch. The more vague and "round-about" that you are, the harder it is to sell.
I do however, think the headline could be clearer. I really like Nathan Barry's idea:
"Help us tell a new story"
I agree with Edwin. It does sound very formulaic and sales oriented.
*** I'd actually tackle the visual part first. White on black, no thanks. My eyes are still trying to adjust. ***
It's great to focus on the "what's in it for me" angle that Carnegie promotes, but context is also important. If I'm donating, my priorities tend to shift. I want to know why YOU want the money. I want to know how YOU'LL use the money. etc... Sure, I'll benefit from it to, but when it's a donation, "We" is perfectly appropriate.
Just updated the landing page again: http://justinjackson.ca/serial/
The original headline and the proposed headline does not tell what's happening. The story (if I've got it right) is that Serial wants to break out and do a own show (why is not mentioned: will it be cut because it's a failed experiment, do the authors want more freedom?). I think the headline should say that without the listeners help there wont be a second story, pref with amount that needs backed for it to happen (like Kickstarter - hell even a link to this as a Kickstarter project) + the reason why they wont get more funding from This American Life.