We focus most of our efforts working with campaigns on building their email lists and increasing online fundraising because, in our experience, when a campaign gets those components on the right track, the rest of your digital strategy falls into place. A candidate who wants to take their list building seriously needs to know that it takes serious investment, but there are also some easy, free ways to grow your email list.
In this post, we’ll share the tactics we recommend to harvest the “low hanging fruit” and start building your email list.
Include a call to action in email signatures.
On a campaign, you respond to lots of emails. Include a call to action to join your email list in the signature of every email. A simple, “Sign up to receive updates from our campaign,” linked to a landing page with email signup will do the trick.
Just make sure you’re including worthwhile updates for these subscribers who are likely to be some of your most engaged supporters.
Install an Exit Intent Pop-Up on Your Site
This is the pop-up that triggers when a user starts to leave. A quick peek at your Google analytics will tell you just how many people are abandoning your site after a few seconds. An exit intent pop-up is your last chance to grab them. There are a few free plugins for WordPress but I recommend using OptinMonster ($19/month).
These work best when you have an aggressive, compelling call to action like “Get the news about our campaign the liberal media won’t tell you.”
Ask Local GOP Organizations to Send an Email on Your Behalf
Don’t assume that your most engaged volunteers know they need to sign up for your campaign email list. Draft an email with a clear call to action about signing up for campaign updates and ask your local GOP groups to send it to their members on their behalf.
Again, make sure you segment these subscribers into targets who want to get real campaign updates and learn about volunteer opportunities, not just fundraising.
Exchange Emails With Another Campaign
Other campaigns in your area are also focused on building their list. Ask candidates above and below you on the ticket to enter into a list exchange agreement. You’ll send them a number of emails, they’ll send you the same number of emails and you’ve both grown your lists.
Grassroots donors, on average, give multiple times to multiple campaigns over the course of an election cycle, so don’t worry about missing out on any donations.
Be very careful about how you integrate these emails into your program, warming them up first with sends in smaller batches that drive them to take actions apart from donating.
BONUS: If you don’t have enough emails to exchange right now, promise the granting campaign that you’ll get them the emails in 90-180 days once your list building program is underway
Best Practice Digital members have access to an ever-growing library of petitions to engage your supporters. You should always post these as part of your organic social media efforts in addition to using them as promoted posts.
Don’t be afraid to post these petitions multiple times throughout the course of a few weeks. Think about how important it is to get repetition with your paid efforts. And chances are the audience seeing the post is different each time.
This is campaign digital strategy 101 so I almost forgot to include it on this list, but still we see so many campaigns who don’t have a clear email capture form with a call to action on their website.
You’re not going to build an email list capable of sustaining your campaign on free efforts alone, but putting these best practices into place will give you some increase, but most importantly, it orients your campaign to a list-building mindset.