Every campaign can and should be using an e-mail newsletter to stay in touch with their supporters.  E-mail is a quick, cheap, and easy way to keep in contact with your voters, and is a great compliment to all of your other campaign activities.   To start an effective e-mail newsletter for your campaign, just follow these simple steps:

1.   Set Up Your E-Newsletter – The Easy Way

The main reason why political campaigns don’t start e-mail newsletters is that they are afraid of the technical side… setting up and maintaining an e-newsletter seems like a big headache waiting to happen.  I’ve got good news – it doesn’t have to be!  There are a number of all-in-one e-mail newsletter solutions out there that are very cost effective, including AWeber Communications and Constant Contact.  Shop around for features and price.

2.  Promote Your E-Mail Newsletter!

Once you’ve got your newsletter set up, you’ve got to promote it to your supporters to make sure they sign up to receive updates.  Remember – don’t add them to your list unless you get their permission (or they sign up themselves through the form on your website) – otherwise, your e-mail will be considered spam.

The best way to promote your newsletter is through a form you place on your website, as mentioned above.  Another great way is to have sign-up sheets at every event that ask people to sign-up for your e-mail newsletter.  Mention your newsletter as often as you can and remind people that they should sign up to get news and information about the election.  You can also offer special bonuses as an incentive, such as a series of events just for e-mail newsletter subscribers, or first dibs on tickets to your Election Night party.

3.  Stay In Touch

After you start to get some names and e-mail addresses on your subscriber list, it’s time to start using your resource to stay in touch with your voters.  It is important to note that if you wait a long time before sending out your first e-update, or you only send e-mail newsletters once or twice a year, many of the people on your list will have forgotten that they signed up, and may be agitated that you are e-mailing them.  E-mail newsletters are a “use it or lose it” situation – if you don’t use the permission that people have given you to e-mail them, you will most likely lose that permission.  The best bet for campaigns is to end out e-newsletters at least once per month, but no more frequently than once per week.

What type of information should you include in your newsletter?  Some of the best items are breaking news, recent campaign happenings, and a campaign calendar of future events.  You can also include pictures from past events, links to policy papers, responses to your opponent’s attacks, reminders to go vote, and profiles of your candidate, campaign staff, and volunteers.  Just remember  – whatever you send out to your list will most surely reach the inbox of your local reporters, so don’t e-mail any information you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the newspaper.

Every campaign, no matter how large or small, can and should be using an e-mail newsletter to contact their supporters regularly, get out the vote, raise money and get the word out about their candidate.