Don't Just Collect An Email. Start A Relationship


Any consultant or campaign manager will tell you that email acquisition is the lifeblood of a campaign. You'll use them for Voter ID, Volunteer Recruitment and yes, Fundraising. But what if beyond just acquiring a name and an email address you use the process to start a relationship with that potential voter, volunteer and/or donor. If structured correctly, every interaction with a campaign website is a data point. In fact, it can be multiple data points.

As a NationBuilder Certified Expert, I am often asked: "Can't we just blast email or blast direct message people." My answer is usually either "no" or "Yes. But no, you shouldn't." What you should automate is collecting data. What you should personalize is how you use it.

We recently launched a new site for a client Matt is running for Congress in Ohio. There are 3 signup opportunities on the home page. One is in the modal signup form that floats over the header video banner. The other two are underneath quotes by the candidate regarding Right to Life and the 2nd Amendment.

If the user didn't already have an email associated with their account the homepage template had {% include "home-email capture %} which was just a partial template of the signup form. Yeah, it's great if they sign up but it doesn't give you much information.

 So we created two additional signup pages "join_for_life" and "protect_2a" and replaced the {% include "home-email capture %} with:

{% subpage "join_for_life" with "home-email-capture" %} and
{% subpage "protect 2a" with "home-email-capture" %} respectively.

For those unfamiliar with Liquid templating, this allows us to pull certain aspects of a signup page onto another page but still associate the actions taken to the signup subpage rather than the host page.

"Tags" are a way of identifying people within the database. We set each page to tag signups with leans_prolife or leans_2a depending on where they sign up. We then set the custom follow up type to Organizing - Volunteer Recruitment and have the page automatically assign new signups to the district-wide Field Director.

They pop up in her Followups and she can look and see if they live in the district. If they do, she can assign them to the appropriate County Field Director. If they don't live in the district she can assign them to the Social Media Director who can recruit them for the social media/rapid response team.

Instead of just gaining an email address the campaign knows where someone signed up and thus what may motivate them and then using tags, followups and point-person assignment we have an automated workflow that will greatly increase the chance that we can get them more involved in the campaign.

Always put people and relationships at the center of your digital strategy.