The first impression you make when you launch your campaign online can set the tone for your entire election. Starting out with all of the right components in place shows that you are running a professional, competent campaign deserving of voters’ support.
Your campaign announcement is also one of the few moments you control and the early momentum a launch generates is crucial. Ensuring your digital campaign is prepared to make the most of the moment must be a priority.
Fortunately, many common mistakes that campaigns make early in their digital efforts are easy to avoid.
A Campaign Logo That Isn’t Flexible
Your campaign logo will be used in a lot of different ways throughout the campaign. What works at launch may not work a few months in. As you prepare your visual brand, catalog all of the places from yard signs and T-shirts to newspapers and social media networks where your logo might appear.
Ensure your logo is recognizable at smaller sizes, legible from a variety of distances, and can shape shift from landscape to square.
A Hard To Remember Campaign URL
The URL where your campaign website lives needs to be memorable and easy to spell. The candidate’s name, like JohnSmith.com, is always the best. If the .com variation is taken, try securing the .GOP domain name.
Avoid using numbers instead of words, like JohnSmith4Congress.com.
A Website That Doesn’t Appear On Google Search
Another frequent mistake is keeping the website dark until the moment of launch. This prevents Google and other search engines from finding and indexing your page which means when your supporters are searching for your site after you launch, they won’t be able to find it and it could be days before your site begins to appear on the results page.
Create a simple, blank html file with your site’s page name and host it on your domain for a few weeks before you launch. When you’re ready to go live with the website, you’ll be able to switch it over with ease.
Missing Ad Retargeting Codes
Even if you have no plan or budget to advertise online with platforms like Facebook and Google, make sure you launch your site with their free retargeting pixels already installed. This will enable you to advertise to users who have visited your sites when they use Facebook or sites that use Google’s ad platform. It’s a tactic called retargeting and you want to build your audience as early as possible.
No WinRed Page
It’s a free tool to help Republicans raise more money online. Have it up and running from before day one.
Not Collecting Email Signups
Every page on your website should have some sort of email address capture form so you can convert site visitors into campaign supporters.
Emails That Don’t Reach Inboxes
Your sender reputation is one of the factors that determines whether your email reaches an inbox or goes to spam. Since you’re likely a new sender, you won’t have a reputation associated with your domain, so you’ve got to start small.
Going from sending 0 to 5,000 emails in a single day is activity internet providers and email platforms would associate with a spammer, so if you’ve got a list you want to send information to at launch, start by sending to a few hundred, then send to a few more, and so on, until you’ve reached your entire list. Otherwise, you risk damaging you and your domain name’s reputation as an email sender
Also make sure your email copy always has a link for an opener to click on with a clear call to action because engagement is a key factor in your reputation as well.
An Announcement Video With No Promotion Budget
Most campaign launches are happening with a video and candidates may spend thousands of dollars with their consultants to produce these, but if you don’t have a distribution plan behind the video, it’s all for nothing.
When you budget for this video, make sure you have money set aside for paid promotion on Facebook and YouTube. Combine your paid strategy with an organic outreach plan to reach as many voters as possible.
You’ll never get the opportunity to launch your campaign again and by avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll take full advantage of the momentum.