Spent the last week in the sunny south building a base tan for the summer – No one likes a sunburn after a round of golf.
While away I got an opportunity to read some read some awesome books with innovative customer engagement ideas. There were a number of tactics that could be customized to a municipal election and I plan on making some videos and posts about them this week.
It does not matter if your election is downtown Toronto or in rural Essa Township, all Candidates need to use an email marketing service.
There are a few common service providers such as AWeber, Constant Contact and Mail Chimp. I have worked with all three and found that AWeber is the most cost effective and has one of the best delivery rates – meaning less of your emails end up in your voters’ spam mail.
Collecting email addresses is not always easy, however it is slowly becoming vital to your campaign for many reasons. Let’s take a quick look at a few:
- The decline of the home phone. In the “good old days” matching your voters list to a landline was a simple task, but in 2014 everyone is cutting the cord on home phone services. Collecting personal email addresses gets you straight to a voter’s mobile phone.
- The introduction of online voting. This will be widespread in municipal elections in the near future with many small townships already offering online voting in 2014. In Leamington, Ontario this fall it’s the only choice. How nice would it be if your email asking for support entered a voter’s inbox shortly after their online voting instructions? GOTV is going to get much easier (and cheaper).
- Email marketing is fast and cheap. If you have a robust email list of voters you can get information out quickly when responding to a current issue or promoting a last minute event. This is much more efficient than trying to get the word out by phone or on your feet. A subscription to an email marketing service comes at a low cost. The monthly cost of AWeber is less than $20 per month. Compare that to over a thousand dollars for a mail out or hundreds of dollars for a voice-broadcast and it’s a great deal!
If you are thinking you can manage your email list with a spreadsheet and your current email provider, think again. An email marketing service comes with many perks including email marketing education, sign-up confirmation pages, delivery and viewing statistics, and professional looking templates. To learn more about all the features of an email marketing service I encourage you to visit a few of their websites.
For more info on email marketing subscription costs and features visit AWeber’s website.
City Campaigner Members can log onto the members-only portal for my latest video on email marketing. This includes easy tactics to collect voters’ email addresses and how to use automated email drip campaigns to keep voters engaged.
Avoid a campaign that crashes on take-off. Put in the planning time up front to ensure success.
As a municipal candidate you are not going to receive automatic media attention when you file your nomination papers. Contrary to popular belief, there is not a media scrum outside of Vaughan City Hall on a Tuesday afternoon.
If you want buzz you need to create it – and trust me, you want buzz. No candidate likes working their ass off for three months only to run into their neighbour down the street and hear, “Oh, I didn’t know you were running for council.”
Here are 5 easy steps to complete BEFORE a successful campaign launch for City Councillor hopefuls:
1. Plan for an uphill battle
Countless studies show that people are not engaged in the election until the last days before the vote. You don’t have the luxury of waiting until then, so you have to drive your own engagement.