8 Impactful Tips To Grow Your Constituent Email List
1. Simplify The Sign Up
On many websites in the government space, subscribing to an email list is a task in itself.
Often, constituents have to fill out 10 or more form fields just to join a newsletter.
Of course, collecting demographic data is valuable. But is personal information more valuable than a constituent’s conversion from bystander to informant and connected supporter? Maybe not. You may only need:
• Zip Code (although zip codes are not always true to district lines)
A 2015 research study found that the average attention span fell from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8.25 seconds in 2015. Not only are our attention spans shortening, but with each additional field in your sign up form, you are missing out on conversions.
So ask yourself: does your team need to know the gender or age of this constituent? If not, you will likely attract more sign ups.
2. Reach New Audiences With Targeted Facebook Events
Facebook events are a great way to meet constituents. By focusing an event around a specific topic, this can help attract new people. In choosing a topic, make sure that it’s timely, relevant, and worth your and the constituents’ time.
Upcoming legislation, new iniatives, or campaign events are good examples of actionable and specific events for a Facebook group.
To target an audience even further, dedicate a small budget to promoting your Facebook event to the right demographic. With Facebook, you can target a post to people by geographic location, interests, age groups, and other demographics.
This is a low-cost way to reach new audiences, build relationships, and grow your email list.
3. Start A Personal Blog
Your most loyal voters are those who feel that they have an instrinsic relationship with you. Transparency and consistent communication are key traits in building trust.
A personal blog is a great way to update constituents on milestones, challenges, and everyday updates. By generating organic content, constituents will better understand your stances and your reasoning on complex issues.
Why does promoting your online presence matter?
We live in a digital world, and not everyone has time for Town Meetings or Hearings. Keep your base updated and attract new subscribers to your email list (and philosophy) with a blog. Monthly, weekly, or even daily blogs will keep your base connected with you.
4. Make Your Newsletter Publicly Available
A consistent newsletter is key to keeping in touch with constituents. Don’t limit the reach of your newsletter by not promoting it beyond email. Share the newsletter publicly on social media channels, in print at local shops and events, and on your website.
Implementing an omni-channel approach is a powerful way to reach new audiences with your newsletter.
Retweets, shares, or a printed newsletter can be as useful to attract sign ups as any other method. Give your base the opportunity to share your message and the current state of affairs by publicly sharing your newsletter across multiple channels.
5. Offer Educational Resources
Educating your audience should be at the core of your mission online. Promoting resources is a great way to invest in your audience and to build relationships.
What could your constituents benefit from learning?
Group courses, online training, speaker series, and community forums demonstrate your team’s dedication to elevating your constituents.
A constituent who may not be interested in attending your City Council Meeting may be interested in attending a workshop on applying for affordable housing.
Call upon resources that are within your budget and experts who may be willing to share information at free or at discount.
6. Live-Stream At Community Events
Just because your meeting isn’t well attended doesn’t mean that a lot of people can’t be tuned in. Open the lens and encourage online discussion by live-streaming events.
There is no cost to you, and you may be touching base with people who couldn’t attend the meeting, didn’t know the meeting was happening, or are just scrolling online.
To capture these folks, include an email-ask or a link to your newsletter sign-up page in the description of your live-stream.
Take it from Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy III, who often goes live for his 750k (!!) Twitter followers.
7. Integrate New Audiences At Events
A great way to get in touch with constiuents that are non-political citizens is to plan events that integrate with the community-at-large.
Concerts, homecomings, trialthalons, and town anniversaries are attractive events to different groups of people. Partner with an organization, give a speech, or commemorate a local team at one of your events.
Not everyone is interested in your political agenda, but most people are interested in having fun.
Keep it light with an integrated community event. Make sure that you have a sign-up sheet, RSVP form, or some way of tracking attendees and their contact information. Follow up with a thank you and invite them to join your newsletter.
8. Grow Your List With A One-Click Survey
Asking for input is a valuable method for encouraging transparency, building brand recognition, and growing your list.
If a survey is focused and relevant, why not share it with a neighbor? Make sure to focus your survey on a single topic and to provide sufficient background information.
Don’t forget to include links to event pages - surveys can be as effective for driving action as they are for collecting feedback.
Involved surveys often increase an email database up to 5-10% after a single question. Want to learn more?