How to Run for Office: Building a Strong Email Program - National Democratic Training Committee

Sending emails will not win your campaign for you.

Sending emails will not mean you will eclipse your fundraising goals.

You’re still going to have to knock on doors, call people, and have face to face conversations.

However, you probably won’t win your election if you do not include email as a part of your overall digital strategy.

Sending emails will help you mobilize your supporters.

Sending emails will also help you shape your messaging.

Here’s a few tips to help guide you towards building a solid email program:

Appropriate Tools

Sign up for an email platform. You do not want to send your campaign emails through Gmail or Yahoo or AOL. Sending 40–50 emails at a time through Gmail is one of the quickest ways for your emails to land in folks’ spam folders.

There are numerous platforms out there (ActionNetwork, Blue Utopia, NGP VAN, MailChimp, Constant Contact), pick one that meets your needs. Some of the listed platforms are free, others are not. Some of the platforms only work with Democrats and progressives, others are open to anyone.

Realistic Goals

Sending email doesn’t replace traditional field work; it supplements your field work.

Sending email (and quite frankly all digital work) amplifies your campaign work.

However, engaging voters through email can do the foundational work, so that once you meet voters in person, they’re already familiar with you.

Solid Writing

Good email writing is good writing.

Be honest. Be authentic.

While there is no industry standard for the length of an email, it shouldn’t be longer than necessary.

Think about your language and style. If you’re a conversational and informal person, you’re probably going to want your emails to have a similar feel.

Strategy and Planning

You plan out all the other components of your campaign, so why wouldn’t you have a plan for your emails?

Planning out your emails allows you to create your own story. You can craft sharper messaging if you take the time to make a plan. You do not have to send an email every time something happens.

Before you hit send, ask yourself if the subject is worthy of an email?

Remember, email will never replace a well-run campaign. But it will help you meet people where they are quickly while driving action and amplifying your other work.

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