Build engagement by surveying your supporters
Over at ClickZ, Jeanne Jennings argues that you can learn a lot from your subscriber list by simply running a survey.
First, and most importantly, you're going to learn some things about your subscribers and supporters:
# If you have specific questions, you can get specific answers. I recently surveyed an association's e-mail list to identify the most convenient offline locations and other details (parking, metro access, price) for its monthly luncheons. We'll use this information to select a venue we hope will increase attendance.
Applying it to politics, AtariDemocrat argues that you're also going to build engagement with your supporters:
To her list we’d add another good reason specific to politics: engagement with the campaign. People who sign up for campaign news letters are highly involved in politics, and have a lot of opinions they want to share. By listening to them, even if only through a web survey, you increase their sense of ownership over the campaign. Activists who feel like part of the campaign are much more likely to donate, volunteer and spread the word to their friends.
Here at Mandate Media, we've helped a number of clients do exactly that. For example, the Oregon House Democrats asked all of their supporters a handful of open-ended questions:
We're listening: All of us together are smarter and wiser than any one of us. This campaign can only succeed with your ideas, your energy, and your commitment to tell us what's happening in your community. We're listening. Give us some advice...
Of course, once you've asked the questions, it's critical to show 'em that you're listening. The best way to do that? Echo back some of the comments. The Oregon House Dems did just that:
Here are just a few examples of the excellent feedback and insight we've received from some of the people who have taken the Oregon House Democrats challenge:
So, to build engagement, ask your supporters for their feedback - and then prove you're listening.
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