Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Training Tuesday with the DFA: The Art of Email Engagement

"Successful emails will build your online community, increase activism, and raise you money. It is also the fastest most accessible way to send your message out to supporters... Compared to the other online strategies, email is by far the most effective strategy to inspire action and raise money."
-from Democracy for America's Campaign Academy Training Manual

The Art of Email Engagement.: In the last five or ten years, email has exploded as a campaign strategy and, without question, Democracy for America (DFA) has led the way on running effective email programs. We were fortunate enough to get to sit in on a DFA Campaign Academy training on the art of email engagement. Today, we bring you the top five email Do's and Don'ts according to Matt Blizek:

Do's Part 1:

Do's Part 2:

For those of you wondering about Zephyr Teachout's other best practices and tips for emails we turn to page 139 of the training manual (You don't have a training manual? Well you'll have to attend a training next year):

Zephyr Teachout's Tips and Best Practices for Emails
• Draft drunk, edit sober.
• Aim for the amazing. Shoot for the moon, and if some fall flat, so be it.
• Tell a story! Each email is a short story with a moral.
• Think in images! Plunge people into a world. Make your message visceral.
• Read your emails out loud to someone before sending them. Reading out loud will force the cadence.
• Experiment! Be willing to try new stuff and fail. It's a relationship - push the limits.
• Involve a short-term narrative. i.e., a 5 email series in which something from the last email is always engaged - this is a serial publication, and a connection from one email to the next - storytelling over time - is one of your strongest suits for establishing a connection.
• Imagine yourself writing TO someone at all times. Never address a crowd - address a member of the crowd. If you wouldn't send this email to a friend, why not?
• Length doesn't matter - should fit the purpose of the email. That said, when in doubt, be very short.
• Use short punchy paragraphs.
• Link early and often. The same link over and over. In this way it is like a poem or song with a refrain.
• Write for a 7th grade reading level - people read fast online. It will improve your writing, making you less abstract, more concrete, and with fewer clauses.

And last, but certainly not least, the Don'ts:

That's all for this week. Next week we'll have a second round of videos from the Art of Email Engagement, just check back at the Sum of Change Training Tuesday web page at 6:00pm next Tuesday! Oh, and speaking of emails, you can always sign up to receive email updates from Sum of Change!
blog comments powered by Disqus