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We are Line Kristensen and Lison Laissus, NationBuilder Account Managers based in the London office. Having worked with many political parties and campaigns, we want to share what we’ve learned for people new to the process. This series is a step-by-step journey of a fictional candidate running for office, informed by our shared experience.

Dear diary,

I spent my Sunday afternoon writing my first newsletter. The first draft included five different stories about the work I’d done over the last week, and I provided five different asks to my supporters to ensure there was something for everyone to choose from. 

Hannah, my Campaign Manager, suggested a different approach––as it turns out, she’s not a fan of weekly newsletters with multiple asks.

She once worked for an experienced campaign strategist that taught her that the average voter only thinks about politics for 4-5 minutes per week (hard to believe, I know). So she suggested that we should be more targeted in our approach, since it’s not productive to waste people’s time telling them about something they don’t care about. 

So instead, we split the newsletter into three different emails but were mindful of our audience.

Using NationBuilder’s smart fields, we’re able to send the same email blast to everyone but show them different copy based on what information they have previously given us. 

For example, to update everyone on the petition we have been running, we showed one of two different paragraphs depending on whether they had signed the petition or not. Those who had already signed it were asked to share it with friends, and those who hadn’t yet signed it, were asked to go and do just that. This is what we sent to them (see the how-to guide below for the step by step breakdown):

****

Hi First name or "Friend", 

Our petition is gaining momentum and we have reached 876 signatures in the last two weeks.

{% if recipient.tag_list contains "Petition: Name of Petition (Year)" %}

Thank you for being one of the 876 people who signed the petition. To reach our goal of 1,000 signatures, we need your help. Share this URL on Facebook or Twitter, or email or WhatsApp it to your friends:

https://backjackie.com/petition?recruiter_id={{recipient.id}}

{% endif %}

{% if recipient.tag_list contains "Prospect: Petition: Name of Petition (Year)" %}

You can help us reach our goal of collecting 1,000 signatures by signing today. Sign the petition here: 

https://backjackie.com/petition

{% endif %}

Thanks for your support,

Jackie

****

Similarly, for our second email, we showed two different paragraphs depending on whether someone was a volunteer or a petition recruiter. For the petition recruiters, it was a soft way of turning online volunteers into offline ones. Here’s the draft for that one:

****

Hi First name or "Friend", 

The deadline for our petition is fast approaching and we have decided to organise a big day of action to increase the number of signatures. 

{% if recipient.tag_list contains "Volunteer” %}

You let us know that you would be willing to volunteer for upcoming days of action. Today is the day––we need your help. Are you available to help collect signatures from potential supporters by going door to door with a group of other volunteers? If so, sign up using the link below:

https://backjackie.com/day-action-signup

{% endif %}

{% if recipient.tag_list contains "Petition Recruiter” %}

You helped us recruit many signatures for our petition, and we are very grateful for your involvement. We have one more ask: would you be willing to take your involvement  offline to collect more signatures by going door to door with a group of other volunteers? If so, sign up using the link below:

https://backjackie.com/day-action-signup

{% endif %}

Thanks for your support,

Jackie

****

Finally, at the end of this productive week, I’ve been able to draft one last email to sum up all the work we have done, express my recognition to all of our supporters who contributed, and send them one final ask: to donate in order to support the campaign. It creates an opportunity for those who didn’t volunteer to show their support in another way, and for those who did to increase their engagement with my campaign.

Using NationBuilder, I have been able to create personalised, almost one-to-one interactions with my supporters, by easily meeting them where they are and with a demand that is consistent with the experience they have had with my campaign so far. This increased the chances that they would respond to my ask and stay engaged, while limiting the effort on our end, enabling us to focus on doing the work that matters  most.

To replicate this campaign, have a look at the ‘How to’ guide I created below.

I look forward to sharing more of my journey with you soon!

 

How to: Show email content based on people’s previous actions

1. Set up your petition site

When setting up your petition on your website, tag all signers with ‘Petition: Name of Petition (Year)’. 

Each signer will get a little yellow post-it note on their profile indicating they have signed it, and this means you can easily communicate with these people.

2. Create a saved filter

First, click on Add Criteria. A pop-up screen appears, shown below. 

Choose, tag>tags>with none of the following tags: Petition: Name of Petition (Year)

When you click the Filter button, the people who match your criteria are displayed in the lower portion of the screen. 

Once you click the Filter button, you'll have the option to save the filter. Click Save Filter As to find the people who currently match your criteria.

3. Auto-tag those who haven’t signed the petition

  1. Click on the filter button to find the filter that you created above.

  2. Click the edit pencil. You'll be taken to the filter Settings

  3. Add the Prospect: Petition: Name of Petition (Year)" tag to auto-tag people who fit this criteria with under "People in this filter should have this tag." Make sure that this tag hasn't been/isn't getting applied via any other means (e.g. manually), as this can result in data loss, should any of the people with that tag not meet the saved filter's criteria.

  4. Click Save filter.

4. Create email blast

Go to the communication tab, and click on “New email campaign” under the name of the broadcaster of your choice. Then enter the requested information in the following fields -–– name, slug and description––and create your campaign.

5. Create one email with content based on previous actions

Liquid variables can be used to personalise email blasts and show content to people based on what you already know about them or  pull in information about them from your database.

In this case, we will use liquid variables to show recipients different content based on whether they have already signed the petition, or not.

Email copy:

****

Hi First name or "Friend", 

Our petition is gaining momentum and we have reached 876 signatures in the last two weeks.

{% if recipient.tag_list contains "Petition: Name" %}

Thank you for being one of the 876 people who signed the petition. To reach our goal of 1,000 signatures we need your help. Share this URL on Facebook or Twitter, or email or What’s App it to your friends:

https://backjackie.com/petition?recruiter_id={{recipient.id}}

{% endif %}

{% if recipient.tag_list contains "Petition: Name Prospect" %}

You can help us reach our goal of getting 1,000 signatures by signing today. Sign my petition here: 

https://backjackie.com/petition

{% endif %}

****

If you want to run your campaign on NationBuilder, create a free trial or get in touch with our team.

For more on how NationBuilder can help emerging candidates and parties, learn how Emmanuel Macron’s party En Marche used it to get 359 candidates elected in 2017.

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