Getting a well-known politician or influencer to lend their name to a fundraising email for your campaign is a proven strategy for raising more money. A supporter is more likely to open an email from a name they recognize than from someone they’re not as familiar with. Not only does it increase the engagement with your email, but the surrogate lends their credibility to your fundraising ask, providing proof that your campaign is worth supporting.
Other politicians are eager to sign fundraising emails on behalf of other candidates because it helps boost their name ID, shows they’re actively helping the party, and grows their own email lists through data exchanges. It doesn’t matter what level of office you’re running for or how big your email list is, anyone can tap into the power of surrogates for emails.
Here are some tips for recruiting and making the most out of surrogate email signers.
Create Your Wishlist
Start with a wishlist of email surrogates you can reasonably reach out to. Statewide officials, members of congress, viral political influencers, and former elected officials are all great options. If your race is especially high profile or your email list is big enough, national political figures should also be in the mix. The key is that their names will be recognized and trusted by your grassroots supporters.
Next, map out your relationships with the various individuals and how you’ll go about reaching out.
Identify The Responsible Individuals
Now that you have your list and you’ve started reaching out, you need to identify the specific individuals who are responsible for getting your email copy approved. It’s not always the same and could be multiple people.
As part of your ask, whether from you or the candidate, make sure you know who is responsible for execution. Getting the surrogate to say yes is only the first step.
Check On Fundraising Rules
Always check with a local election lawyer to make sure your fundraising ask complies with election regulations. A federal candidate, for example, may not solicit donations beyond a certain amount and you might need to add specific language. Similarly, a state candidate may not be able to fundraise during specified times.
Don’t get your surrogate into trouble for doing you a favor.
Draft Email Copy To Approve
When a surrogate has agreed to sign for your campaign, you’ll next need to draft an email for them to approve. You’ll want to do this quickly while the willingness to help is fresh. It should be a very focused, tactical fundraising email following all of the best practices for driving donations. Get multiple subject lines for resends approved.
Because it might take some time to approve, make your email “evergreen” so it will be impactful once the surrogate has signed off.
Bonus: P2P Text Copy
While you’re asking for approval on the email copy, get signoff on a P2P text fundraising message that you can send along with the email.
Send it Out Far And Wide
You’ve got the recognized name on board and you’ve got the copy approved. Now, it’s time to send it multiple times to your own list, using your multiple subject lines. Then reach out to list brokers for rental and revenue sharing opportunities. A surrogate may be known to perform well on certain lists so you’ll want to tap into that audience.
Promptly Return Data
After your email has gone out and you’ve received donations, make sure you promptly send back the donor data to the surrogate’s team. This is why they signed the email – to grow their own list. The quicker you help them do that, the more eager they will be to help you with future fundraising emails.
Surrogates are an important component of successful online fundraising programs, but it can seem daunting to get started. Following these steps will ensure you make the most from your candidate’s political network. Signing fundraising emails is a standard operating procedure for political endorsements in 2022 and beyond.