AcknowledgementsThis presentation was created by Lauren Miller in conjunction with New OrganizingInstitute.These new media materials have been developed over the course of many trainingsby Lola Elfman, Lauren Miller, Matt Compton, Ben Simon, Larry Huynh, Nate Thames,Becky Bond, Michael Silberman, Mia Cambronero, Adam Green, Jason Rosenbaum,Colin Holtz and many others. Restrictions of UseThe following work is provided to you pursuant to the following terms and conditions.Your use of these materials constitutes your acceptance of these terms:• You may reproduce and distribute the work to others for free, but you may not sell the work to others.• You may modify the work, provided that the attribution to the New Organizing Institute and the Author remain on the work.• You shall include a copy of these restrictions with all copies of the work that you distribute and you shall inform everyone who uses the materials of this agreement.
What can email do for you? " Reach people quickly & cheaply " Activate people to take action " Enhance what you’re doing everywhere else
A few key principles" It’s about everything else you’re doing" It’s about story telling" It’s about number crunching
1. Keep it short. " People don’t want to read a long essay.
2. Think about your subject line. " Be concise (5-7 words) " Grab attention, but don’t cry wolf " Be creative " Don’t be too wonky
Good Subject Lines " Can I dial you in? (DCCC) " For your eyes only (YES to Fairer Votes) " I agree with George W. Bush (Howard Dean) " Missing you (Kiva.org) " We’re 54.7% sure… (Families USA) " Spill baby spill (Brave New Films)
Bad Subject Lines " The ____ Update " June 2011 Newsletter " Tell your Senators to vote no on S. 2191 " Urgent FEC Deadline " Maryland GOP Calls for End to New Poll Tex for Absentee Ballot Voters
3. Keep it conversational. " Snarky is ok. A formal letter isn’t. " Have voices, personalities in your email.
4. Never send an email without an action… All you can do is unsubscribe. " Sign a petition " Call Congress " Write a letter " Make a donation " Tell a friend " Share your story " Watch a video " Give us your " Follow us on Facebook feedback or Twitter " Attend an event
4b …But don’t ask people to doa million things. " Multiple actions confuse/ overwhelm " Splits the returns of your actions " Better solution: Segmentation & Daisy Chain
5. Ask people what they want. " Surveys are good for you and your list. " Find out more about your list " Solicit new ideas " Make your members feel like they’re part of the team
6. Treat new supporters differently. Make a good first impression. " Send an intro message describing your org & what you’ll be asking them to do. " Don’t ask for money – but don’t wait too long.
7. Keep formatting simple. Use images sparingly. " Compelling buttons can help action rates " Most don’t matter " Don’t hold up an email for an image " Don’t make your whole email an image
7. Keep formatting simple. Avoid fancy formatting. " You are not writing direct mail " Fancy formatting distracts from links
8. Timing is everything. " Sometimes it’s better to be the 1st than to be the best. " General wisdom: Tuesday-Thursday late morning " In reality: Whenever something urgent happens
9. Checklist your emails. One bad mistake can ruin your email. " Ask someone who didn’t write it to proofread it " Ask someone to click every link & take every action
10. Test & Segment Your emailsTests: Segments:" Sender name/format " Geography" Subject lines " Donation history" Time of day " Past actions taken" Images (including " Signup date headers) " Whatever you’ve" Length got" Links" Landing pages
1. What are your goals?Online goals: Offline goals:" List growth? " Pass a bill?" Fundraising? " Save the…. (puppies, seals, unicorns)?" User generated content? " Events?" Twitter/facebook followers " Volunteers? " Press attention? " Drive a news story?
2. What are your resources? " Email list? " Volunteers on the ground? " Friendly bloggers? An organizational blog? " A technology platform? " Allied organizations/partners? " Online advertising budget? " Video capabilities? " Other technology abilities?
Do you need different emails for different people? " Action takers/non-action takers " Geography " Interest " How they joined the list " Donation history " Demographics " Superactivists vs. Lurkers
4. What can people do to really help? What is your theory of change?
Plug in your offline activities/ milestones as the base." Petition: When will you be delivering it?" Events: Should we invite them? Ask them to donate or share? What can people do if they can’t attend?" Videos/ads/offline materials: Can the list contribute content? Money? Share?" Reports/research: Can they comment? Debunk it? Share?
Fill in the rest." Kicker messages" Follow-up results messages" Donation messages" Other creative things you can give people to do
How much email is too much email? " How often do you have something urgent and meaningful to say? Quarterly Monthly Weekly Daily TYPICAL Almost Probably certainly too much too little Credit: Idealware
Debbie Shank has paid enough" Goal: To stop a lawsuit." Resources: 100,000 person email list. Petition & Speakout technology. Contact with the family." Timing: Debbie’s well-being was in jeopardy" Segments: People who signed/didn’t sign petition; frequent letter-writers; Facebook followers" Theory of change: By shaming Wal-Mart, they’d drop the lawsuit.
What did we do?" Launched a petition (email and Facebook)" Wrote letters to Wal-Mart’s top management" Wrote to news outlets to cover the story