Email marketing experts, HighRoad Solution, have partnered with ElectionsOnline to provide consultation to clients about conducting the email marketing campaign that accompanies any election. Before describing their service, let’s lay some groundwork with the following example.
Suppose an association is conducting an annual Board of Directors election set to run for two weeks. Voters won’t vote if they don’t know about it, so email is one means by which to ensure they do. Though announcements should also be made through social media, online communities, print publications and elsewhere. Let’s further suppose this election is being conducted entirely on the ElectionsOnline website. This is considered a fully hosted election. In a fully hosted election, the ElectionsOnline system supports the ability to send a maximum of three emails to voters informing them of the election and how to vote. However, there are two other election models available (view a flowchart of the different models):
- passed authentication, where voters login at an association’s website and are then passed over to ElectionsOnline to complete the voting process, or
- fully integrated where voters never leave the association’s website to cast their ballot.
When a client uses either of those two models, the onus of sending election-related email is on them. This is where I’ve seen things go wrong. Such as:
- Sending too much email. I once was made aware of a client sending an email to voters every single day the election was underway!
- Describing the ballot in the email. I’ve seen examples of clients using the email announcement to describe the positions the voters will be asked to vote on once they’re at the ballot. Such things will be self-evident once the voter’s at the ballot and it’s counter-productive to describe such things prematurely. In cases where a voting option does require some explanation, the correct place and time to do that is on the ballot itself, and the ElectionsOnline system provides tools for doing that.
- Sending overly wordy email. Voters don’t really care that the President of the association has provided some overly verbose plea describing how important it is to vote. If they want to vote, they will, if they don’t, they won’t. Overall member engagement, not a plea from the President, drives voter participation. It’s better to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” when the President submits copy for the election announcement and instead keep it very narrowly focused on the call to action—getting voters to the ballot.
This is where HighRoad Solution comes in. They specialize in integrating best-of-breed email tools with external systems like your own association’s AMS, then go into measuring and analyzing the metrics to determine how effective a given campaign is and what could be done to improve its performance. Consideration is given to such things as:
- Do other concurrent email campaigns compete with and create a distraction with your election campaign?
- Could the messaging be altered to better resonate with your audience?
- Could the day of week and time of day when the email is sent be modified to perform better?
- Could the election campaign be merged together with some other campaign so that each piggybacks off the other for increased engagement with fewer emails?
Part of crafting an effective election marketing campaign is ensuring it blends in well with an overall marketing and communication strategy. HighRoad will therefore need to look at everything you’re doing so the benefit of retaining their service extends far beyond simply optimizing an election’s email campaign. It really encompass everything you’re doing.
To learn more, visit highroadsolution.com.