Last updated: 22 Jul, 2019
Published on: 25 Jan, 2018
Quick and simple profile dos and don'ts
It’s so important for rescue pets to shine online! And with thousands of people searching the web for a rescue pet, first impressions really do count.
A great photo is a great start, and an engaging written profile is the next step in helping your rescue pets find love online.
- Put your pet’s best paw forward. Think of it like an online dating profile - highlight your pet’s best attributes up front.
- Put some thought into the ‘best feature’ field - this section really catches the would-be adopter’s eye, and ensures your pet stands out as unique amongst all the other cuties looking for homes.
- Really think about the first line of the profile - this is the ‘hook’ that appears to the public on the search pages before clicking through to the full profile. Put the best bits first - your pet’s most special attributes - so that pet seekers can’t resist clicking through to the full profile.
- Use some white space to break up big chunks of written information. People can inadvertently skip over important bits of info if there’s lots of sentences all lumped together in one huge paragraph. The return key is your friend!
- Be mindful that pet adoption is a two-way relationship. Obviously your pet has needs, but try to think about it from the adopter’s perspective too. Let pet seekers know what your pet will bring to its lucky new family, rather than reeling off a list of things your pet will need.
- Take a moment to pretend you’re looking for a pet to adopt, and have a quick browse through the pet search pages. That way you can see exactly what the public sees when they are searching. While you’re there, you’re also sure to get some more ideas and inspiration, as there’s lots of wonderful profiles out there!
- Put the welcome mat out for prospective adopters. They have already done a wonderful thing by starting their search through rescue, when there’s plenty of other ways to get a pet.
- Delve too much into the pet’s past. Every pet has a story, but too much doom and gloom can be all too much for some. It can inadvertently turn perfectly good adopters away, and scathing critiques of past owners can also leave you liable to legal action. Save the details for your fundraising efforts, where they have more pull. For attracting adopters, move past the past, and try to stick to what you pet can offer an adopter now.
- GO OVERBOARD ON THE USE OF CAPS OR EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!!!!!! We get that it can be frustrating when people see a cute pic and hit the enquiry button before reading the important info in the profiles. However, overuse of capital letters and exclamation marks can come across as aggressive - like you’re shouting and preaching at potential adopters. Keep your information as clear and concise as possible, and there will be more chance someone will take in the info.
- Waste your first sentence (the ‘hook’) on info that already appears on the search pages or at the top of the profile (such as breed), or on describing the appearance of the pet (people can already see this in the photo). Make every word count!
- Push people away by presenting your adoption policies as a series of hoops to jump through. By all means outline your procedures, but keep the language friendly and welcoming. Don’t give people a reason to get a pet from a breeder or pet shop.
- Let your creative writing aspirations overshadow the pet’s personality. Make sure your creative flourishes are adding to the pet’s appeal, not distracting from it. It can be a fine line!
- Be afraid to ask for help! If you’re struggling to put a positive spin on a certain pet, or if you’re looking for a vollie to help with profile writing, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.