Anyone who pays any attention to the Internet in the last day or so has undoubtedly seen the Stop Kony campaign. The hashtag #StopKony has been a trend on Twitter since sometime Tuesday. You’ve likely seen the Kony 2012 video plastered all over your Facebook newsfeed as well.

This isn’t my plea to get you involved in a cause. You can form your own opinions and take your own actions. I want to focus on the video. The fact that it, as of this moment, has over 7 million plays on YouTube in the last two days is astounding. It has captured the world’s attention.

Yesterday I watched a Ted Talk with Andrew Stanton, the filmmaker responsible for some of your favorite Pixar films such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo and WALL-E. He captivated me as a writer. One part of his speech focused on the age old rule, make people care. It is so incredibly obvious, but even more so important. He talked about universal truths, and instincts and reactions we have buried deep in our fibers. A well told story connects with everyone.

The video created by Invisible Children follows that simple principle. They did it in just the first few minutes, before even segueing into the real goal of the video. Those first few minutes captivate you as a viewer. It sweeps you up and into their story.

This same idea of making your audience care is also imperative to your email marketing efforts. Capture your subscriber’s attention. Make them want to discover what happens next. Do that, and all the other important aspects of email marketing will follow.

The Kony 2012 video is an extreme example. There aren’t always going to be lives at stake. The principles are the same. Make your audience feel something. Make them care.