As campaigns hit the final stretch, it’s not uncommon to get stuck in a repetitive cycle of sending the same, stale fundraising emails over and over. We get it. The team is burnt out, the list is tired, and there’s a ton of competition for those precious, last-minute, grassroots dollars.
We want to help. Here are five ways to keep the appeals fresh and the donations coming in.
Don’t slow down.
In email fundraising, one of the worst things you can do is allow your list to atrophy. If your campaign isn’t top of mind for your donors, you’ll get lost in the shuffle with all the competition. This moment of heightened attention is a period where your campaign has every reason to be asking for money. A lot of campaigns slow their appeals for dollars in the final weeks, preferring to divert resources elsewhere. But remember: in an effective campaign, last-minute dollars will be put to work quickly funding your GOTV operation or deployed rapidly through online advertising.
Every campaign has email techniques and tricks that they know work better than others, but sticking to the same old routine may cause you to get left behind or bring on list fatigue. Stay original and stay topical. Don’t get stuck sending the same old email.
Stay on message.
Perhaps this should be rule No. 1. Being original doesn’t mean your email campaign should stray from the messaging that brought people to your list in the first place. For example, although many campaigns are finding themselves drawn to anti-Trump messaging, it’s not the right fit for every list or every race. Always remain true to your message.
Make an urgent, direct ask.
In the final stretch, it’s essential to stress the importance of giving now. That might seem implied, but telling your supporters their dollars will be put to use immediately will increase conversions. While many other campaigns are beating the same drum and using the same old talking points, you have an opportunity to stand out by being direct.
Soft fundraising asks fall flat in the final stretch. Set a fundraising goal and give supporters a precise reason why that goal has to be met. For example: “Help us raise $10,000 to put 20 more organizers to work.” Emails that don’t offer a tangible reason to give aren’t worth sending.
Don’t ignore the data.
In the homestretch your campaign will have months of data to look back on to decipher what works and what doesn’t. Pay attention to send times, senders, and the specific types of emails that do the best for your list. If you have surrogates who are especially effective, this is the time to get one last send out of them before Election Day.
There you have have it. Don’t slow down, keep your supporters interested, stay on message, make direct asks, and don’t ignore the data. If you follow these best practices, the final stretch of your online campaign will be the most successful yet.
Greg Berlin is a partner at Mothership Strategies, a Democratic digital agency.