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EMAIL CAMPAIGNING Presented by Lauren Miller, Elizabeth Warren for MA
INTRODUCTIONS NOI On Demand You Norms
FOLLOWING THE LAW ELECTIONS.NEWORGANIZING.COM
FOLLOWING THE LAW WWW.AFJ.ORG
Presenter: Lauren Miller New Media Director Elizabeth Warren for MA @laurenm
OBJECTIVE Learn best practices, tips & tricks to write awesome emails and run an excellent email program.
AGENDA Why email is important Theory of change Basic structure of an email 10 tips for better emails Questions
WHAT CAN EMAIL DO FOR YOU?• Enhance what you’re doing offline• Quick, cost effective communications to supporters• Rapid response to breaking news• Activate and empower your members• Raise money 9
A FEW KEY PRINCIPLES• Email is part of a larger communications strategy• It’s about telling a story over time• Plan ahead• Email is results driven 10
THEORY OF CHANGEA cause-and-effect sequence that begins withsomething the reader can tangibly do and ends withthe resolution of the moment.ORHow does the action you are asking your supportersto take lead to the change you want to see?Key: authentic and plausible.
THEORY OF CHANGE #1: College football wont have a true national champion until there is a playoff system. Sign our petition to demand a playoff. Theory of Change: MISSING
THEORY OF CHANGE #2: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is pursuing a radical anti-worker agenda. Call his office and tell him to stop. Theory of Change: IMPLAUSIBLE
THEORY OF CHANGE › #3: Puppy mills are more concerned with their bottom line than the health and well being of the dogs in their care. Americans for Puppies Everywhere is rallying day and night to stop them.Theory of Change: Contribute now toTRUST ME keep us going.
OK, ENOUGH TALK.HOW DO I WRITEAN EMAIL?
BASIC EMAIL STRUCTURE • 1st Sentence: Attention Grabber • Try to keep it to one sentence -- one line, if possible
BASIC EMAIL STRUCTURE • 2nd Sentence/Paragraph: Summary of why you’re sending the email • Don’t include too many details, facts, quotes, etc -- that’s what the rest of the email is for
BASIC EMAIL STRUCTURE • 3rd-4th Paragraph: Take Action • Explain what you want people to do • Remember to explain your theory of change • LINK (before the fold)
BASIC EMAIL STRUCTURE • Links should be stand-alone links (not as part of another paragraph) • Should you use hyperlink text or written-out url’s? It depends. • Don’t just have picture links
BASIC EMAIL STRUCTURE • After the First Link (if needed) • 2-4 paragraphs with more background information, blockquotes, details, etc. • Another explanation of why it’s so important for people to take action, and another link. • Repeat if necessary
SO HOW OFTENCAN I SEND THESEAWESOME EMAILS?
WELL, IT DEPENDS….How often do you have something urgent, important andinteresting to say? Quarterly Monthly Weekly Daily TYPICAL Almost Probably too certainly too much little Credit: Idealware
10 TIPS FORBETTER EMAILS
1. KEEP IT SHORT• People don’t want to read a long essay. They’re skimming what you write.
2. THINK ABOUT YOURSUBJECT LINEIt’s the most important part of your email. Be concise (5-7 words) Grab attention, but don’t cry wolf Be creative & mix it up
GOOD SUBJECT LINES• Reality 2, Bush 0 (John Kerry)• I agree with George W. Bush (Howard Dean)• Did you get my email? (MoveOn.org)• I have a confession to make (Courage Campaign)• Spill baby spill (Brave New Foundation)
BAD SUBJECT LINES• The McCain Update (John McCain)• Tell your Senators to• vote NO on S. 2191 (Eagle Forum)• Urgent FEC Deadline (Mitch McConnell)• Maryland GOP Calls for end to new poll tax for absentee voters (Maryland GOP)
3. KEEP IT CONVERSATIONAL How do you sound when you write an email to coworkers?• Snarky is ok. A formal letter isn’t.• Have voices, personalities in your emails. It keeps things from getting stale.
4. NEVER SEND AN EMAILWITHOUT AN ACTION… All people can do is unsubscribe. Sign a petition Call Congress Write a letter Make a donation Tell a friend Give us your feedback Watch a video Attend an event Remember your theory of change!
4. NEVER SEND AN EMAILWITHOUT AN ACTION……But try not to have more than one action per email. Don’t confuse people.• Multiple actions/links overwhelm people• Splits the returns of your action• Better solution: Daisy-chain your actions• Exception: PS Message
5. ASK PEOPLE WHAT THEYWANT Surveys are good for you and your list• Find out who your audience is, what they’re interested in• Solicit new ideas without hiring a new staff member• Make your supporters feel like they’re a part of the team
6. TREAT NEW SUPPORTERSDIFFERENTLY Make a good first impression.• Send an introduction/auto-response email, describing the group/org and what they can do• Trying to raise money? Don’t ask immediately – but don’t wait too long to ask
7. USE IMAGES SPARINGLY &AVOID FANCY FORMATTING Don’t use images just for the sake of using images.• Simple buttons that clearly explain the action can help action rates• Compelling images can help grab attention• Don’t hold up your email just for an image• Don’t make your whole email an image
8. TIMING IS EVERYTHING Sometimes it’s better to be the first than be the best• General wisdom: Tuesday Thursday late morning send best• More important: Getting an email out when news breaks, something happens• If you’re waiting 3 days for policy experts to fact-check your brilliant email, you’re too late.
9. CHECKLIST YOUR EMAILS One bad mistake will ruin your otherwise excellent email• Ask someone who didn’t write it to proofread it• Ask someone to look at a test message to read every sentence, click every link, and take every action.
10. TESTING AND SEGMENT Figure out best for your own list Test: Segment:• Sender: name/format • Donors/non-donors• Subject lines: long/short, punchy, • Highest previous contribution snarky, questions, current events themed, “invite” or “video” • Geography (including stories)• Time of day (tough to implement) • Past actions• Images: yes/no, upper right vs. • Signup date across, header or no header, simple • Whatever info you’ve got! vs. artistic, colors, language• Email length: full email vs. up to 1st link• Link style: hyperlinked text vs. urls• Landing pages