Whether you’re running for school board, state house, or Congress, there’s always something to learn from other campaigns – even those in the opposite party. So while you may not have the budget, staff, and resources of a presidential re-election campaign, there are still plenty of lessons to take away from Joe Biden’s campaign.
In this post, we’ll break down a recent email the campaign sent, study its conversion funnel, and identify strategies and tactics your campaign can put to use.
Send Emails To Drive Engagement
Don’t be the campaign that only hits supporters up for money all the time. This harms your relationships with individual supporters – including prior and potential donors – who may only be keeping up with your campaign via the emails that you send. You’ll also see diminished results for email performance overall since engagement is a key factor for reaching the inbox.
The Biden campaign used an email subject line – “Test your knowledge 🧠” – intended to drive engagement, not donations. The emoji in the subject line makes it stand out in the inbox and seem less formal.
Add Rungs To The Engagement Ladder
Remember that at the bottom of every conversion funnel, there’s another conversion funnel. Even though I’ve already signed up to receive emails from the Biden campaign, it’s a big leap to becoming a donor.
Instead, they’re moving supporters along an engagement ladder of progressively more commitment before making fundraising asks.
We don’t know if this email went to their whole list or just a segment, but I haven’t previously engaged with donation emails.
Stick The Landing
When I tap on to the call to action, I’m taking to a landing page that’s optimized for mobile devices since that’s where most of their subscribers are reading emails. In fact, it look a little funky on a desktop computer.
Also, since they already have my email address, the form only asks the relevant information to further build out my supporter profile like my name, which will help them improve personalization in future emails.
Notice that after submitting the form, you don’t get the answers and your score right away. They’re sending them to your email and since your curiosity is piqued (and perhaps it’s a matter of pride), you’re going to check the email which gives the campaign another engagement with the email. This translates into better inbox placement for future sends.
And, instead of redirecting a supporter to a donation page on completion, the campaign asks you to take the next step to becoming a volunteer.
Of course this process adds more work than just blasting supporters an email asking for money, but the Biden campaign knows it’s going to be more effective in the long term and there are benefits (like inbox placement and volunteering) that go beyond raising money.
It’s a mindset shift for campaigners from recent years, but the data shows campaign emails are reaching more than just donors and sending emails that reinforce campaign messages are an essential part of your digital campaign.