E-mail campaign lessons

posted by Mike on June 15th, 2006

A few weeks ago, two campaigns began in Worcester, encouraging people to e-mail their politicians.

These were done with the free CitizenSpeak site. Neither had massive response. CitizenSpeak promptly lost the data for both campaigns, and wasn’t able to restore it.

Lesson: Pay a pro to host your campaign, or host it yourself and backup your data. CitizenSpeak is just Drupal with an e-mail campaign module installed.

As a follow-up to the first campaign, I printed postcards using perforated card stock. When I meet someone who might be interested, I hand them the postcard, watch while they sign under the printed message, then take the card back so I can mail it for them.

This method has generated much more response than the e-mail campaign! And doing the postcards has been easier, too. I spent hours writing the message inviting people to the e-mail campaign, writing the e-mail message itself, talking with collaborators about the messages, and rewriting the messages.

You can’t spend hours writing a postcard. There’s only space for a few sentences.

I figure that each postcard costs 50 cents to make and mail. So if I was asking people to send a card to each city councilor, it could get expensive. Instead, I think I’d pick out those councilors who needed pushing on an issue, and then pick one of these councilors each week to bombard with cards.

For the “picture” side of the cards, I made some quick and dirty tourist-type images, using a photo of the Senator Hoar statue that I’ve released to the public domain. To my surprise, one person asked for a poscard “without all the writing.” So here’s a PDF of the picture side.

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One Comment Leave a comment.

  1. On June 15, 2006 at 16:02 Adam (Southern California) said:

    Cool. That could be a real postcard. Wikipedia notes that G.F.Hoar was a member of the influential Baldwin-Hoar-Sherman family.

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