How to Use Email to be a More Effective Activist

Email remains the most important tool for political activism. Why? Everyone is on email. But not everyone uses email very well.

Activists looking to build their personal network and influence should adopt the email best practices I outline here. As Heritage Action follows them, we’re finding our emails are more effective.

Key success factors for email:

  • Track performance. You can know what emails people open and what links they click. Use a simple, free email program  to monitor which messages perform well. Giving your people what they want is an easy way to improve emails.
  • Integrate email and social networks. Some of your friends may spend more time on Facebook or Twitter, so connect with them where they are. Offer links to your social sites in emails and vice versa.
  • Make sign up easy. Ensure your email sign up form is easily visible on your website. People take three seconds to scan a website for ways to connect. Make sure they can jump on your email list quickly.
  • Use a consistent “sender” line. Make sure that when a message comes from you or your organization, that’s the name people recognize and it’s the name they see in their inbox.
  • Be brief. The number one failure in political emails is excessive length. Offer links for people that may want to know more. They can do a whole lot more on your site. Besides, no one wants to spend all day reading emails. Be short and to the point to keep people interested in your emails.

Let me know if you have questions. We’d love to help conservative activists use email better.

Please Share Your Thoughts
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=733300360 Ivory Smith

    Good Advice, than you.

    • http://heritageaction.com/author/nyellis/ Nathanael Yellis

      Glad I could help, Ivory.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VMGY7D7E33WWMXY64ACHQHZBYA ScottB

    I have an email list of 500 households to update them on issues of local, state, and national importance. How can I apply your suggestions? Do I need a website to track, integrate,and sign up new people easily?

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Nathanael. Please expand on your suggestions, including ideas for individuals who do not have websites (e.g. Scott B. above), Facebook, and/or Twitter. Also, if action items are written to be forwarded as e-mails, many supporters can send them to hundreds of friends easily. Please include RSS directions, if using RSS could be useful to, and save time for, Heritage supporters.