Offline campaign events, like meets and greets, grassroots fundraisers, roundtables, and rallies are major opportunities for gathering data about supporters and improving your online marketing efforts. Similar to the idea of the Content Buffalo, where I encourage you to repurpose the content your campaign generates for every channel, you should extract everything you can from campaign events because so much work goes into them.
For the Trump campaign, rallies are an integral part of their campaign strategy. They collect supporter data, drive action, and register voters. Your campaign probably isn’t packing arenas around the country, but you can follow these steps to make the most of your campaign events.
Incorporate Event Turnout Into Email Marketing
Make sure the supporters who have subscribed to your email list know about your events. It seems obvious but sometimes the team that sends out emails may not be talking to the team that drives event turnout. To do this effectively, you need to know where your subscribers are with good email list segmentation.
It’s also a great call to action for marketing emails that isn’t just asking for money, which your subscribers appreciate.
Promote Your Event on Facebook
Drive turnout and grow your email list by reaching new potential supporters via Facebook ads promoting the event registration page. Depending on the area you’re trying to reach, advertising to known conservatives near the event for a few days can cost just $50 to $100.
Simply promoting the event and letting voters know you’re in an area has benefits and could yield additional signups.
Capture Information from RSVPs
Use your event RSVP form to get critical information like email addresses, physical addresses, and mobile phone numbers for each attendee. Even if you think you already have it, ask for it again. Your supporters are more motivated in this moment to provide you with information than they may ever be again.
Capture Data at the Door
Nobody should enter the event until you have their email, their address, and their mobile phone number. You can confirm that they registered or ask them to register at the door, but this is a key moment of attention you won’t get back. Capture it.
Include Calls to Action in the Event Program
Before and during your event, you have supporters attention for as long as an hour, so include calls to action, like opting in to text messages, following on social media, or downloading your campaign app as announcements during pre-program, announcements from speakers, and save the most important ask for your candidate. Don’t pass this opportunity up. And don’t make the mistake of assuming your supporters know what they need to do or have already done it. Make the ask.
Followup After the Event
Begin an automated series of emails for everyone who attended the event that reinforces the calls to action you made during the event. Yes it’s repetitive. But you already know that it takes repetition for a message to sink in.
It doesn’t take much to make the most of your campaign events, but the worst thing that could happen is for you to miss a data capture opportunity and leave supporter attention “on the table.”