– And welcome back, BrendanTobin back here again. Another campaign blueprint. This time we’re coveringpolitical campaign emails,trying to figure out whatworks, what doesn’t work,and we’ve spoken to a lot of campaigns,seen a lot of campaignemails going over the years. I think what we’re gonna cover todayshould really help you guysin trying to figure outyour strategy, what works,and how to track what’s working for you. Stay tuned for more. So why do people usepolitical campaign emailsstill in an age when everybodysays that email is dead?Well, it’s for three reasons. It’s easy, it’s flexible,and it’s effective. So easiness, certainly. Once you have your emailblast system set up,it’s very straightforwardto send 10,000 emailsor 100,000 emails just aseasy as it is to send 10. So from that point of view,very, very easy to set up. Flexibility in terms ofthe sort of informationthat you can send to voterswhether it be videos, text,campaign messaging, images,whatever it might be. So very, very flexible mediumfor direct contact with voters. At effectiveness, campaignmanagers always come back to usand tell us campaign emailsare one of their core methodsof communication in termsof the amount of informationthat you get back frompolitical campaign emails. Certainly one of the bestuses of your resources. What we’re gonna coverin this Q&A session,I’m gonna pull Ciara in hereand we’re gonna go back and forthwith some of the sort of questionsthat we get asked most regularly,we’re gonna cover strategy, tracking,and effectiveness of your campaign emailsand hopefully that should help you. Kay, so look who’s joined us, its Ciara. – Hi guys. – And she’s gonna ask allthose difficult questionsthat our customersusually ask us, so. – Yeah, so political campaign emailsare something we deal with regularlyand our candidates are always using them,so the first question we get asked loadsis what softwares are good to usefor political campaign emails?- Yeah a lot of people don’t knowthat we provide it as well,but I suppose the mostobvious ones would bethings like MailChimp, Constant Contact,ones that a lot ofpeople would know about. Very simple, straightforwardemail blast systemsthat tend to integratepotentially with your voter CRM,but also just havereally nice functionalityfor tracking what’shappening on your websiteso if you send out an email blast,how do you then track whatactions people are takingon the back of that whenthey reach your website. So they’re very good options. Obviously, ourselves,have email blast systemsthat are directly connectedin with voter CRM’s,so the targeting that you’ve built upwithin your voter databasecan then just be exported as a listand you send an email blast. So fantastic for followup work after canvassing. These are the people thatare interested in education,these are the people thatare interested in roadsand transport, and thenyou could follow upan email blast to them. Also I suppose Nation Builderwould be another good exampleof a similar sort of email blast systemthat’s connected to a CRMsystem, voter CRM system. So those are all good options. Loads of other options out in the marketbut I think that’s a good starting pointfor political campaigns. – Okay brilliant, so ifyou’re using a software,it’s probably important thatyou have some sort of strategy. Just like if you were gonna getyour political campaign strategy,it’s important to have an email one. Can you give us a few key stepsin your political campaign strategy?- Yeah, I suppose the way, look,every campaign hastotally different strategybut due to two sort of big thingsthat we think aboutfor email blast systemswould be persuasion campaignsor information campaigns. So one is quite heavy, in a sense,of you’re asking people,it’s very action-oriented. So you’re asking peoplemaybe for a donation,you might be asking in the emailfor somebody to sign upand become a volunteer,or I suppose ultimately tocome out and vote for you. So you’ve got that type of email,and then you also havethe information type emailwhich would be much more selfie softly. It’s like a news letterapproach so you’re updating themon what’s going on with your campaign,you’re maybe giving them some picturesfrom your social media,maybe asking them questions. It’s still important tohave an ask in there,but information campaignswould be more aboutbuilding trust, buildingloyalty, building understanding. So what we find is that a lot of campaignswill mix those two strategies. So at the beginning of the campaignthey might start with very much persuasionor an ask based email blast,so asking people for donationsto get the campaign up andrunning, asking for volunteers,then they move into aninformation campaignand then at the end of the campaign,the last few weeks they’removing much more back againinto asks like, will youcome out and vote for us?Will you volunteer?Will you give us some more support?I think those two types of strategyare a good way of thinkingabout your strategybut in terms of how it’s gonna workfor an individual, it’sreally down to themto figure out what’s gonna work best. – Okay that’s obviously very important,’cause I suppose dependingon your campaign rollout,your timeline at havinga strategy in placewill help you know when to send out?- Yeah, absolutely yeah. – So the next thing we’vekind of talked a lot aboutand written a lot about in the pastis your subject lines for emailsand stuff that catches people’s eyebecause I have my phoneon me all the time nowand I get emails, we allget emails hourly nowand you don’t look at everything. I suppose it depends on the subject line,what catches your eye. Have you any tips on for candidates nowlooking to hit their voters?- Yeah, it’s something,it can completely destroythe open range on an emailif you have a bad subject line,something that seems a bit too pushyor maybe not of interest. So I suppose the guidelinesthat we would havefor subject lines would be USP. The way we would think about it would beeither useful, subjectline specific, or personal. An example of a useful subject linemight be for a voter,your guide to taxation for 2018,or how to apply for social welfare grants,or something along those lines. Now that’s something thatthey can action immediatelyso they would interestedenough to open it up. Specific ones would bemaybe based on feedbackthat you’re getting from voters,that their interest isspecifically in education,or in street lightingor something like that. So if get it that narrowlyfocused, that narrowly targeted,you’re gonna have a reallygood open rate on those emails. And very useful as well. You have to try and think of it in termsof how good is this gonna beas an experience for the voter. And then finally and classicallylike the old Obama emailswere like, hey, dot dot dot, so, personal. So making it feel like that it’s somebodywho has a relationship with you. So it’s something like aquick word, question mark,or something along those linesthat feels like it’s one to one. Those tend to work for us. – Yeah if anything it kinda createsa bit of urgency, liketime sensitive stuff. They always make me open up my emailsif there’s an event happeningat the end of the week,you know I kind of want to know about itbut yeah I think they’re great tips. – But they’re just a guideand they’re by no meansthe only way that youcan set up subject lines,and there’s a host ofinformation out thereif you ever search for it on how,strategies for subjectlines, specifically,but I think they’re a good root on USP. – Perfect. The nextquestion we get asked a lotis how do you decide who you’regonna send which email to?So same thing as canvassing,when you’re out door knocking,you’ve segmented up your voter file,and I imagine it’s the samewhen you’re sending out emails. You’ve got to segmentto get the best return. Surely. – Yeah, if you haven’tbuilt a good targeting list,then the emails arenever gonna feel right. So I suppose there’s acouple of ways he can do it,if you haven’t gone out anddone any votering for HR,if you don’t have a very wellfleshed out CRM or databaseon your voters, youmight want to just startwith a broad email and yousend it out to everybody,see who opens it, see who’sclicked the link on education,see who’s clicked the link on healthcare,see who’s clicked the link on transport,and then segment based on that. So start broad and then narrow it down. But ideally in any political campaignyou’re going to have a bitmore information that that. So you’re gonna haveinformation put in your databaseabout perhaps voting history,perhaps geographical information,where exactly they live. So you can target based on,say if you want to takejust a specific geographyand tell them what’s goingon in their local area,or tell them what you’re doing in responseto things that are happeningin their local area,that’s great targeting. If you’re out and you’re doing canvassing,so say with our system if you’ve gone outand you done a canvasand all of the peoplethat have responded to your canvas with,I will come out and votefor you on election day,you can then set up aspent and specific listof supporters or votes pledgedand send them specific emails. So that type of targeting is pretty basicand you should definitely bedoing that level of targeting. Finally you could connectto your email targetingwith your website properties. So say for example you have asign up page on your website,and in that sign up pageyou’re asking peopletick the boxes that you’re interested insuch as education, healthcare, transport,then as a result of thatshe can set up targetingbased on their responses. And that’s very, very good practice. So lots of different ways you can do it,but certainly you shouldtry to be leveragingthe power that’s put into your voter databaseand then building yourtargets on the back of that. – Yeah that’s really helpful. You can go as broad oras narrow as you want. It can be a really extensive operationso I suppose if you are gonnareally go into your email?- Yeah, I mean, there’scertainly some campaignswe would work at and they are email nerds. – Yeah. – They just don’t stoptalking about targeting. And it’s very effectiveand the more targeted,like we all say,the better response you’re gonna get. – So following on from email segmentation,I suppose the next thingwe talk a lot about as well is testing. So testing differentemails to different groups. Do a lot of campaigns actually do that?- I don’t know. It’s pretty advanced level stuff,but A/B testing onsubject lines, on content. So A/B testing is you set up,you duplicate an email and thenyou send everything the sameexcept you change one item. So you change the subject line,you send it to the same group of peopleand then you see which onegets the best response,which one gets the best open rate,which one gets the best, you know,the lowest unsubscriberate, biggest response rate. So stuff like that, it’spretty advanced level stuffbut it’s very easy todo with like MailChimp,it’s very easy to do withany email blast systemthat’s connected to a voter database. – One of the other questionswe always get askedabout campaigns, or from campaigns, sorry,is how do you know if youremails are actually working?- There’s some metrics that you canlook at on most email blast systems. So things like open rateand your open rate should be around,well certainly over 10%but ideally about 20-40%would be a decent open rate. Unsubscribe rate is anotherreally important one,if more than 5% of peoplewho received your emailare unsubscribing from it,then you probably have a problem. And then also you can connectyour email blasts toyour website properties. So very simply done. Sounds really complicated,but it’s actually quite easy to do. So that you send out anemail blast to 1,000 people,20 of those people or 50 of those peoplevisit your website as a result,they click through the email blast,and then of those people,what do they do whenthey’re on your website?There’s really good tracking methodsfor seeing how effectiveyour email blasts have been. – They definitely sound like metricsthat any campaign should be tracking. – And very simple to do. Really, Really easy. – Finally, you’ve kind offollowed all these steps,you’ve learned all these lessons,and now you’re sending out your emails. What’s the story of the content? – You don’t do anything,you just write nothing. – But no seriously how long or shortshould the email be,should it have images,how important is that oncepeople have opened the email?- Well critically important, I’d say. I suppose there’s certain thingsthat you don’t want to have in therelike information thatis not relevant to themlike maybe geographicallyis irrelevant to them,or things that they’re not interested in,or asking them to do thingsthat they’ve already saidthey don’t want to do. Things like that are definite no-no’s. Of the content that youdo want to put in there,it needs to be informative, itneeds to be action-oriented. You certainly need to ask. In every email thereshould be at least one ask. I would suggest maybe two or three asks,whether it’s a donation, come outand vote for you, or volunteer,you want to be asking peopleregularly four things. So putting clickable links that they canvery simply go forward with. In terms of content itself,just fantastic email templates,and that they look full, they look great,but they don’t open it all. So that’s the thing a lotof people don’t know is,simple text emails with justsimple clickable links— Short?- And short-ish, well depends,but certainly plain text emails do openan awful lot better thanvery heavy load emails. So those are a couple of pointers. Keep it informative, keep it as specificand as targeted as possible,very simple, plain text,and make sure that you’re askingfor things within the content. And ideally if you can open with a hook,open with a story or somethingthat captures their attention,because it’s very easy to just scanfor a sentence or two and to bounce offan email and not take any action. So those would be myrecommendations for that. – Okay cool. I suppose the next timeyou get a political email,maybe have a look through itand see if it has any of these points. – So thanks, Ciara, forcovering those questions for us. Hopefully that’s been of help. Don’t forget to subscribeto our YouTube channel belowand if you’ve got any questions,don’t be afraid to followup with us. ‘Til next time.