This article highlights why and how emails are used by digital campaigners to enhance their campaigns by keeping their supporter base informed or mobilising them into taking action.
Emails are a great way to mobilise Green members or supporters to take action on an issue that empowers them to become more committed members of your Green party or campaign. This action could be signing a petition, attending a meeting or an event or donating money for a campaign.
Why or when should you send an email?
The first essential step of email writing is about having a good list of supporters to send it to. Here are some important points to keep in mind:
Before you start writing, establish your audience. Who are you sending this email to? What kind of member are you trying to persuade? What will a member know or not know about this already? What background or context will you need to provide? If you’re targeting a special group of members, it’s often a good idea to mention that in the email, eg. “As a member of the Young Greens…”
Keep it short: A good email should be short and to the point. People should be able to know what is being asked or said very early on. And remember that 70% of emails are checked via smartphones nowadays. When you’re writing an email, it is useful to imagine a supporter is dropping their kids off at school or on their way to work whilst reading your message.
Subject line: The subject line represents the most important words of your entire email — it’s the only part everyone will read. It’s the gatekeeper to the rest of your email so put sufficient thought into it and think outside the box. A good subject line is short, punchy, engaging, and intriguing.
The opening paragraph: The opening line is the most read part of your email after the subject line. It should hook the reader, and incentivise them to continue reading. If it’s dull or hard-to-digest, you’ll lose them here. The opening line should be strong, snappy and compelling: a striking piece of info, an imploration, a few enigmatic words, a question, or an emotive sentiment.
Your opening sentence should explain why you’re sending the email now. Why is ‘now’ the strategic time to hold or attend this event? Just make sure you have mentioned ‘the moment’.
Some effective emails highlight a sense of “urgency”. Often they’ll be sent when a key decision is being made or when an opportunity arises. By evoking urgency, it encourages your supporter to act now.
Crisitunity: It’s also useful to have your email explain both the crisis at hand that makes the issue important to act on but also the opportunity to avert the crisis.
What problem is this event responding to? Be specific and tangible — the problem could be campaign-related, political, or related to a community need, eg. a lack of empowerment or political frustration.
What is the opportunity or solution to this problem? Be specific on how your supporter can be a part of this solution and what their action will help achieve.
Theory of change: It is essential to include a sentence or two in the email that explains how the action we’re asking the supporter to take is a part of a larger strategy or sequence of events in the real world that creates the change or outcome we want.
For example: By donating 20 euros, we can send an activist to Belene forest to stop the destruction of old growth forests that are essential to preventing the climate crisis
P.S.: The P.S. is one of the most read parts of the email. Add a fresh pitch for why members should take action, additional persuasive information, or offer a place to go for more info. Does this email require an opt-out option? Add it as the very last P.S.
Emails can sometimes feel old fashioned or clunky but they are still a very effective way to directly reach supporters. A single well thought-out email is worth the effort, and can result in huge gains for fundraisers or a get-out-the vote strategy.
Do not dismiss the power of a good email!
Last updated: June 2022