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That’s a real confirmation email after signing up for a popular candidate’s email list. If I had a dollar for every neglected auto-reply or left-on-default introductory email that hit my inbox, I’d likely qualify for the next DNC debate.
The first few emails to hit a new subscriber’s inbox are the most important emails you’ll ever send. So don’t waste the real estate by leaving it on-default, or worse: not sending one at all.
When crafting a welcome series, here are three strategies to move your new subscriber into becoming a loyal supporter or recurring donor:
Set the tone immediately.
The first email a new subscriber receives should set the tone and intention of the rest of your email program. If your program pushes heavy on fundraising, be upfront about it. Let your new subscribers know what they can expect from your email program and then give them the option to unsubscribe if your program doesn’t fit their needs (if you don’t make unsubscribing easy upfront, you could find yourself needing to purge your newly-acquired names).
The last thing you want is to bait-and-switch your subscribers with a flowery welcome series that quickly transitions to a churn-and-burn fundraising program.
NAME, I’m going to be honest: We rely on email fundraising to fund the critical programs we run leading up to Election Day. The single most important thing that stands between us and our opponent on Election Day is having the resources to mobilize voters, spread the word, and get on TV.
Explain the big picture.
If someone is new to your list, it’s critical you quickly establish the big picture – that they’re joining a movement that’s going to enact real change. If you’re within 3-degrees of separation from anyone who remotely cares about campaigns or elections, you can bet your inbox is flooded with political emails asking for $5 here or $1 there.
So how do you stand out from the pack?
Use your welcome series to establish why your organization or campaign is different, and why their support matters. That way, come end-of-quarter, when they’re trying to climb out of an inbox overflowing with small-dollar asks, your email will rise to the top of their priority list.
You’re becoming a part of something bigger than each of us.
By choosing to stand with us, you’re making a firm statement: I believe in civil rights and social justice for all Americans. I don’t just tolerate diversity, I celebrate it. And I will continue fighting for equality until we truly see it – from sea to shining sea.
Give them other ways to get involved.
Not everyone is a donor (this is the news many digital fundraisers don’t want to hear). But that doesn’t mean non-donors aren’t valuable and shouldn’t be treated with as much love and attention as your $25 monthly donor.
Let your supporters (donor or otherwise), know how they can get more involved.
We rely on donations (even $1 counts, really!) to keep our campaign running, but if you can’t donate, please consider volunteering, signing our petition to join the campaign or follow us on social media. PS be sure to share this email with 3 friends!
Giving your new subscribers options that don’t include opening their wallet will go a long way in building trust, and engaging with those who can support your campaign in non-financial ways.
Craft your welcome series properly and you’ll instantly set expectations and build loyalty with supporters – supporters who will spread the word, donate, and help you bring home the W on Election Day.
Cheryl Hori is the founder of Pacific Campaign House, a progressive digital campaign firm.