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Politics + Technology
What’s a Welcome Email Worth?
From epolitics:

There’s been a really healthy, if vociferous, argument going around over whether or not to send a ‘welcome series’ of emails to new supporters on your email list. The concept is probably familiar: you send a pre-written package of emails over a few days or weeks to ease new people to your non-profit or political campaign onto your list. The pro and con go something like this:

PRO: By easing people onto the list and introducing them to our ladder of engagement, they are more likely to open, click, and donate later on. Good cultivation makes for better members.

CON: Other than checking for dead or spam-bot emails on your list, all a welcome series does is feed outdated content to members who otherwise have the highest-probability of being really active, engaged and excited. Why waste people’s initial enthusiasm with emails that aren’t about your hottest campaigns?

Well I LIKE a welcome series – dagnabbit. I’m old fashioned that way. But I was nervous about the impact on email deliverability. As I’ve chronicled elsewhere about email deliverability for non-profits and campaigns, there’s a real cost to emailing inactive members. And if all the welcome series was doing was turning people off or depressing the open and click rate, I didn’t want any part of it.

So, I set out to prove what a successful non-profit email welcome series is worth. What I found was surprising.

Read the rest at epolitics.

Debunking 3 myths preventing campaigns from embracing digital ads
From Campaigns & Elections:

Following the 2012 election, “big data and digital” was the post mortem no one could avoid.

Pundits and strategists still refer to the ability of Obama’s digital team to outmaneuver the GOP and win the election. According to Business Insider, digital comprised 8 percent of the Obama’s campaign’s media mix. On its face, it seems like a decent portion of the budget, until you consider that consumer brand advertisers spend an average of 25 percent of their budgets on digital.

Since digital was a proven winner in both of President Obama’s victories, what’s holding political campaigns back from increasing budget allocation to be more in line with consumer advertisers? Political strategists spend their careers finding the perfect balance of TV, direct mail and grassroots efforts to get their candidates elected. They aren’t paid to experiment. And despite its success, digital is sometimes still viewed as somewhat experimental.

From my perspective, there are three main reasons why political campaigns stick with the status quo. Let’s debunk them.

Myth #1 - Brands need big data. We have voter files.

First, let’s look at what’s in the voter file. It’s a list of registered voters in an area, their address, birthdates, party affiliation (if it’s a party registration state), and voting history. Assuming you know how they voted (and that’s a big assumption), you don’t know how they will vote next time.

Read the rest at Campaigns & Elections.

7 Design Mistakes That Make Readers Trash Your Emails
From Constant Contact Blog:

It’s heartbreaking to think that people are making snap judgements about whether or not to read your emails based on a quick glance.

But they are. You are, too! Here’s how we all sort through our inboxes:

  1. We choose an email message
  2. We give it a two-second glance
  3. We decide if it’s worth our time
  4. If it is, we keep it and read it
  5. If it’s not, we hit the delete key, and send the email to the trash

How can you keep your email out of the trash? The secret is good design. In those first two seconds, that’s all your reader sees.

Let’s take a look at seven common design mistakes that get emails trashed, and I’ll offer more than seven solutions to help your next email get read.

Read the rest at Constant Contact Blog.

A Quick Guide to Hiring Political Consultants
From The Campaign Workshop:

When it comes to political consultants, Forrest Gump was wrong!

Turns out, political consultants are not like a box of chocolates, because when you hire your team, you should have a pretty good sense of what you’re getting. It may be that your political consultant comes with a little less raspberry filling than you’d expected, but you shouldn’t all of a sudden discover that there’s a coconut filling (or that they’re just plain nuts). Here are a few quick, commonsense tips to make sure any surprises are minimal.

Read the rest at The Campaign Workshop.

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