Are you overlooking this tool in your organizing and outreach toolkit?
September 03, 2019
Brought to you by Tectonica's Email Specialist David Phelps.
Too many organisations are neglecting to use this powerful tool in their outreach and organising efforts.
While many hours and resources are rightly spent on developing an engaging website, building and maintaining a compelling blog, and supporting a powerful CRM system to maintain relationships, email is frequently pushed to one-side.
That’s a mistake. In the era of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and a host of other social media, email still remains the predominant form of global online communication. Some facts to consider:
- Email use worldwide will top 3 billion users in 2020 – just under half of the total world population
- Nearly 3 in every 4 millennials identify email as their preferred method of business communication
- Email is still the most effective way to get people to either give/donate or take an action online
- Email messaging drove nearly 1/3 of all online fundraising in 2018. In the United States, online revenue generated by emails is increasingly a significant percentage of the funds raised by political campaigns
- Compared to other online outreach and fundraising, email is extremely cost-effective
By any measure, analytical or anecdotal, ignoring email as a fundraising, advocacy, organizing, outreach, and engagement tool is a mistake.
Not using email – even in a rudimentary form -- to reach potential and existing supporters is leaving money on the table (literally) and people sitting on their couches. In the U.S., recent data on the impact of email clearly shows people aged 50+ are:
- More likely to give when specifically asked
- More likely to turn out and vote
- More likely to organize in their communities
By contrast, younger people (18-35) are:
- More likely to take action on social media when asked in an email
- More likely to sign a petition
- More likely to rally and march
- More likely to volunteer
Traditionally, email content has been an after-thought for political parties, campaigns, non-profit and advocacy organizations. The content creation was left to the last moment and often delegated to someone with no knowledge or understanding how to use the power of the written word to build a movement or fully engage a targeted audience.
In 2019, however, creating, writing, and delivering a powerful, engaging, and results-driven email has become an art form. Organizations now compete to find talented content specialists who can craft emails that deliver.
Using email as an online communications tool in conjunction with other digital mechanisms -- social media, mobile, websites – is essential. The political adage applies:
"No-one knows in a campaign whether lawn signs, billboards, going door-to-door, making phone calls, holding house parties, handing out brochures, rallies, or taking out advertisements make a difference – but no-one wants to take the risk of finding out by not doing all of them."
In 2019 (and 2020 and 2021 and beyond) no political party, no organization, no campaign, no non-profit group can ignore email for what it is: a highly sophisticated, cost-effective outreach, organizing, and fundraising tool which must be built-in with all the other elements of an online presence.
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